February 07, 2011
For the sheer surrealism of it, last weekend's KHL All-Star Game and skills competition could be our favorite hockey thing of 2011.
Team Jagr defeating Team Yashin in a defensive battle, 18-16. The questionable (and controversial) "world record" in the hardest shot competition. And, of course, Chris Simon winning the shot accuracy competition and giving Larry Brooks the line of the weekend: "Must have been the practice on Ryan Hollweg's(notes) head."
But the strangest thing in the KHL skills competition may have been a new event called "Longest Shot". (Why they didn't opt for "Extreme Dump and Chase" we don't know; maybe there isn't a Russian phrase for it.)
In it, players fired the puck down the boards from the neutral zone, around the dasher and behind the net, out of the zone and back down the ice in an attempt to outdistance the other competitors. Also, the arena sound guy played the "wobbly saw" noise as the puck traveled around the rink -- a sound effect frequently used for flying saucers in 1950s Sci-Fi films ...
Check out the Longest Shot competition below; and especially former San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh about 2:40 into it for some curling comedy, a.k.a. the best kind of comedy:
For those scoring at home, that's former Edmonton Oilers defenseman Denis Grebeshkov(notes), Ozolinsh and ex-Carolina Hurricanes center Jozef Vasicek for Team Yashin; along with former Colorado Avalanche/Minnesota Wild defenseman Martin Skoula(notes), Montreal Canadiens 2002 ninth-rounder Konstantin Korneyev and former Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Janne Niskala(notes) for Team Jagr. Niskala won the event, although no measurement was given on the top shot (maybe they just eye-balled it).
Having seen the glory of the Longest Shot competition ... what say you? Is this something you'd like to see in the NHL All-Star SuperSkills competition, as Zdeno Chara(notes) attempts to wrap the puck around the entire rink 14 times on one shot? Or is it a giant snoozefest?
Pass or Fail: The Longest Shot competition at the KHL All-Star Game.