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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 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 64 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 64 14 27 22 41
B. Nelson 64 17 19 7 36
F. Nielsen 64 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 58 20 13 13 33
J. Bailey 52 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 54 7 23 16 30
N. Leddy 64 8 18 15 26
T. Hamonic 54 4 21 15 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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