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Tavares a standout in skills competition

JT was showing his skill at the NHL Skills Competition and his team came out winners

Saturday, 01.28.2012 / 10:40 PM / News
By Katrina Doell
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Tavares a standout in skills competition
It’s the event where NHL players get to show off their creative side.

For the last 12 years, the Skills Competition has been one of the highlights of NHL All-Star Weekend because it lets fans see the players perform tricks and skills that they don’t have the chance to see during a regular season game. For John Tavares, it was the perfect opportunity to shine.

Tavares participated in three events for Team Alfredsson - the breakaway challenge, the skills relay and the elimination shootout. In his first event, the breakaway challenge, Tavares dazzled the crowd with two great breakaway attempts. 

His first attempt wasn’t the prettiest of tries, prompting teammate Michael Grabner, @grabs40, to tweet: JT did a great "Grabner breakaway" impression for people who are wondering what that was.. #nervs

But the second two prompted @easportsNHL to tweet: #Tavares with the lacrosse style goal = best so far #NHLAllStar #isles

JT does have a background in lacrosse and his uncle, also named John Tavares, is a legend of the sport. Did he solicit advice from the career points leader of Major League Lacrosse for any advice?

“I probably should have,” he said with a laugh. “l think the lacrosse background probably had a little influence and provided some comfort level for me. I just tried to be creative and that’s something I thought I could pull off.”

Tavares did confess to asking a few other players for advice and that he looked at video.

On his third try, he came down the ice with the stickhandling skills he’s known for and buried the puck passed Carey Price.

Tavares also participated in the skills challenge relay. He was on his strong side in the right wing corner, ripping one-timers. His group included Alexander Edler, Keith Yandle, Scott Hartnell, Daniel Sedin, Craig Smith, Claude Giroux and Jason Pominville, and they finished in an event-best 2:08. Team Alfredsson swept the event.

When asked by All-Star Captain Daniel Alfredsson about why he picked JT he said “I played against him, but I haven’t seen him up close, so I talked to Zenon Konopka,” the NHL’s longest-tenured captain said. “He said you have to get him on your team. He is going to help you win. He has unbelieveable hands. I saw that up close today.”

In the final event of the night, Tavares participated in the elimination shootout where he advanced three rounds to help Team Alfie to the final score of 21-12.

Tomorrow is the big day, however, and Tavares is looking forward to the game itself.

“I can’t wait,” Tavares said. “The game is what it’s all about and what I watched as a kid and dreamed about playing in one day.”

As far as linemates and who he’s looking forward to playing with?

“I would be intrigued to see how it would be to be in the telepathy of the Sedins.”

How "Swede" that would be.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 46 21 24 -2 45
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 46 8 25 16 33
B. Nelson 46 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 46 9 16 4 25
J. Boychuk 36 4 18 15 22
J. Bailey 34 8 13 8 21
N. Leddy 46 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 46 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 40 13 5 7 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 25 9 0 .910 2.41
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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