By Allan Muir
The Canucks held their annual Super Skills Competition on Sunday. That's kind of a shock. Honestly, the players would probably rather have a day off given how tight the schedule is, but hey, the NHL is all about building bridges to its aggrieved fandom these days, right?. So the boys sucked it up and put on a show.
Now, we at Home Ice love these competitions because of the rock-solid certainty that at least one event will be won by a guy who's barely hanging on to a roster spot. This time around, fourth liner Dale Weise earned bragging rights as Vancouver's fastest skater by logging a lap of 14.037. Guess he won't be able to dog it at the next bag skate now, will he?
But the highlight of the night came, as it usually does, in the hardest shot challenge.
No, not Jason Garrison's winning blast of 101.8 miles per hour that had everyone in the building muttering, "That's swell...so remind us again why you didn't shoot like that when you were on the power play?"
Nope, this, like all the best skills challenge bits, was all about having a laugh at the expense of the goalies. This time around, they had to put their Punch-and-Judy shooting ability to the test.
Sadly, Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider were allowed to borrow a twig from a teammate instead of being forced to use their goalie paddles, which would have been much more awesome.
How did they do? Let's just say that every beer leaguer who ever bragged in the dressing room of having the slapper of an NHLer is no longer delusional.