Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Jon Jordan on 01/29/11 at 09:31 PM ET
I thought I was totally joking when I asked a couple of All-Star goalies how they would feel about a goaltender’s fastest skater competition. But last night’s first overall pick in the NHL’s inaugural All-Star Fantasy Draft, Carolina’s Cam Ward, let the cat out of the bag that tonight, my little joke would indeed become a reality as part of this year’s SuperSkills.
“Rumor is that I’m going to be doing that tonight,” Ward said. “I hope my legs don’t turn to jelly and I don’t bite it into the corner or anything like that.”
“I think I’m going up against Tim Thomas.”
Boston and Carolina fans have since endured some heart palpitations, I’m sure.
And how did Ward expect to fare?
“[Thomas] looks like a bull so he’s probably pretty quick out there.”
New York Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist wanted no part of the event.
“Hopefully, I’m not going.”
Blueshirt fans can rest easy.
For now, I’ll leave you with some of the better quotes from today’s red carpet experience:
“I’m just here to enjoy the experience. I’m not going to lose too much sleep if I let in some goals but I’d love to keep it under five, or something like that, in the game, in the period [he’ll play]. It’s not really goaltender-friendly but I’m gonna have some fun no matter what.” - Ward, on some calling events such as this weekend’s a nightmare for goalies.
“Yeah, well, I guess we could do something like that down the line but, for now, we’re pretty happy with who we’ve got for tonight and tomorrow.” - Hometown hero/Team Staal captain and namesake, Eric Staal, on my proposed wrinkle to future All-Star games, where captains could “trade” players they aren’t happy with mid-game. (I love the “for now” part.)
“Never, never… Well, I did one last year in the AHL but it was nothing like this. I did okay… I think…” - Montreal’s P.K. Subban on his (apparently hazy) memories of experience in skills competitions.
“I’m gonna go with myself.” - Phoenix’s Keith Yandle, on his favorite for the fastest skater competition after being told, quite clearly, he couldn’t pick himself. (Soon after, word leaked that Yandle and Patrick Sharp were removed from the event to make room for the Ward/Thomas showdown.)
“I’ve raced a couple guys in practice. I think I’m 2-0 but I wasn’t racing the fastest guys. I remember I raced Dan Carcillo one time cause he thought he could beat me but I beat him. I think I should beat him.” – Yandle, on the origin of his confidence in the event.
“Well he should, right? He’s 20 years old.” - Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis on who would have the better fastest skater time between he and teammate Steven Stamkos.
“He has more experience in these kind of events. I’m coming in a little nervous, not knowing what to expect.” - Stamkos, feigning nerves, in response.
“No, they’re part of the show. They get a chance to shine all year long.” – St. Louis on whether or not he feels any sympathy for goaltenders in All-Star events.
“I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that I’m absolutely not even gonna come close to those big guys out there that’ll be shooting the puck.” - Stamkos, on his chances in the hardest shot event.
“I probably won’t win that either.” - Stamkos, again, on the fastest skater competition.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: cam+ward, eric+staal, henrik+lundqvist, keith+yandle, martin+st.+louis, nhl+all-star+game, p.k.+subban, steven+stamkos, superskills, tim+thomas
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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