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 ET / 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 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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