Pittsburgh Penguins: A look at the 2018 Skills Competition

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 28: Sidney Crosby
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 28: Sidney Crosby /

The Pittsburgh Penguins have sent two of their finest (Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang) to the 2018 NHL All-Star weekend in Tampa Bay, Florida.

On Saturday, Jan. 27, the Pittsburgh Penguins stars will compete in the 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition. This year’s event will differ from the past, as it focuses more on individual players.

Skills competitions of yesteryear had each skater representing their division for a specific event. They’ve done away with that fake “team” facet and are focusing solely on the biggest names in the NHL.

This NHL All-Star skills contest is featuring LED light devices for almost every event which is, cool I guess? Also new to this year are cash prizes. A player that wins his designated event will take home $25,000. Sportsnet published an article detailing which players were assigned to each event.

Pittsburgh Penguins Events

Kris Letang will participate in the Dunkin’ Donuts NHL Passing Challenge. I guess that means he’ll be saucing pucks over those hurdles? A nice sauce pass is something that looks great in the middle of the game. Amidst the chaos and speed, seeing a puck float effortlessly through the air and land flat as a pancake on someone’s tape get’s me feeling all sorts of ways.

But watching Kris Letang and seven other guys dump pucks around a miniature obstacle course will probably leave something to be desired. Among his competition are leading scorer Nikita Kucherov and Norris favorite Drew Doughty.

Sidney Crosby will take part in the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting competition. He gave it hell last year, and he’ll try to do the same in 2018.

They’ve added a fifth target and a randomized shooting sequence to the mix this year. So instead of being able to wait, aim, and load up on your shot, it will challenge a player’s reflexes as well as their aim.

Crosby will be up against former Penguin James Neal, village idiot Brad Marchand, Steven Stamkos, and more.

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The 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game will take place on Sunday starting at 3:30 EST. It will retain the 3 on 3 format from previous years.