The NHL All-Star Weekend as added a new skills competition that we’re mildly obsessed with: The “Four-Line Challenge.”
It’s like intermission SCORE-O on steroids, only instead of fans that are four beers into their night participating, it’s actual players who are four beers into their night. (Hey, it’s the All-Star Game. Raise a glass.)
The NHL has released a look at how the “Four-Line Challenge” works (complete with video of Marty St. Louis as a Lightning player, for some reason) and boy oh boy this is to be a grand slam or a whiff:
— NHL (@NHL) January 23, 2017
Please recall the rules for this thing:
This event involves four shooters from each team. Each shooter will shoot from one of four shooting positions; near blue line, center line, far blue line and far goal line.
The first shooter from each team takes two shots from the near blue line in an attempt to score goals in either the upper left or upper right corner of the net. Successful shots score one point for their team. The second shooter from each team takes two shots from center ice in an attempt to score goals in one of the four corners of the net. Successful shots in the lower corners score one point and successful shots in the upper corners score three points for their team. The third shooter from each team takes two shots from the far blue line in an attempt to score a goal in one of the four corners of the net or the five hole. Successful shots in the lower corners or five hole score one point and successful shots in the upper corners score five points for their team. The fourth shooter from each team takes two shots from the far goal line in an attempt to score a goal in the five hole. Successful shots score 10 points for their team.
Captains can substitute the fourth shooter with a goalie. A successful shot by a goalie is awarded 20 points for their team. In addition, the first All-Star to score two goals in the five hole from the far goal line will win the new 2017 Honda CRV.
Now, if you’ve ever been to an NHL practice, you know these guys can sink a puck from great distances and with great accuracy. So this could be fun. And it’s entirely possible that we haven’t known true joy until we’ve seen a goalie fire the puck in the top corner of the net from the opposite goal line.
This could also be the new “passing pucks into mini-nets,” as these players frustratingly miss shot after shot after reaching a certain distance and the crowd slips slowly into a coma.
Maybe seeing a group of star players flinging the puck down the ice and wide of the goal like they’re the world’s highest-paid penalty kill is your brand of vodka. But probably not.
In any case, we have open hearts and open minds to see the NHL trying something new … with the caveat that it will never replace the prop comedy joy of the Breakaway Challenge in that aforementioned heart or mind.
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