The NHL's version of the "Human Highlight Reel" has ruled this event so far. Fans vote on it, and Ovechkin loves to please the fans. Nobody matches his ability to be creative and exciting.
Best of the best
Saturday night, those invited to participate in the NHL All-Star festivities in Raleigh, N.C. will show their stuff in the NHL SuperSkills Competition. But no matter how the results turn out at the RBC Center, the skills competition does not necessarily give a true representation of the top NHL players at each specific skill. So we thought we'd cut to the chase and tell you who the most skilled players in the league really are. We're using the events the All-Stars will be competing in Saturday night as a guide, but we're not limiting ourselves to just the pool of players who will be in Raleigh. Some of the players who we pick will, in fact, be there and may, in fact, win their specific competition. But others we choose as the best won't be on hand, so they'll have to settle for our recognition, knowing they're the real winners here. — Scott Wilson
Fastest skater: Marian Gaborik
Gaborik won't be in Raleigh, so he's one of the players who will have to settle for our award. But few can strike fear in opposing defensemen and goalies like Gaborik when he's skating down the wing with the puck, leaving everyone else in his wake.
NHLI via Getty ImagesScott Cunningham
Accuracy shooting: Steven Stamkos
Is there anyone in the league you'd more likely expect to break four plates with four shots than the Lightning's sharp-shooter? This guy's shot is one of the best of all time, and he can't even leagally drink yet (at least in the U.S.) until next month. He'll be one to watch Saturday night.
Hardest shot: Zdeno Chara
Chara will be on hand to defend his title for the third time, and until somebody steps up and bests Big Z's big shot, you have to give him the nod. He's got a Howitzer.
Elimination shootout: Alex Tanguay
It's been a while since Tanguay has played at a level that would have him around for All-Star festivities, and he won't be there this year, but he's — literally — lighting it up this year when it comes to shootouts. His six shootout goals is two better than anyone else in the league this season. Knowing that, I'd pick him to outlast the field in this event.
Skills challenge relay: Sidney Crosby
This is a new event at the skills competition, combining shooting, passing and skating. Is there anyone who does it all better than The Kid? I don't think so. The only thing that might keep him from winning the MVP this season is the concussion that's currently preventing him from returning to the ice. Otherwise, he's been better than anyone else. It seems like this event was conceived with his skillset in mind. Too bad he won't be there to win it.
Getty ImagesJustin K. Aller
Goaltender competition: Tim Thomas
OK, it appears they won't be having a goaltender competition in this year's skills event. But they should. And if they did, Tim Thomas would win it. As locked-in as he's been this season, it's a shame he won't be able to win an award Saturday in Raleigh. So we're giving him one anyway.