NEW YORK - TORONTO -- Six of the NHL's most prolific and creative scorers will showcase their best moves in quest of a 'perfect 10' when they square off against All-Star goaltenders in the inaugural Breakaway Challenge, the signature event in Saturday's Dodge NHL SuperSkills Competition at the 2008 All-Star Weekend in Atlanta (7 p.m., ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS), the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players' Association announced today.
Three shooters from the Eastern and Western Conference will have two attempts to perform a highlight-reel trick while attempting to score. Shooters can start their routine from anywhere in the offensive zone and have full access to the offensive zone, including behind the net. NHL penalty shot rules do not apply. A panel of celebrity judges will evaluate each attempt and give a score of one to nine points. Scoring is based on creativity, execution and ability to score. An additional point will be awarded for a goal for a maximum total of 10 points per shooter.
Celebrity judges are former Thrashers captain and fan favorite Scott Mellanby, former University of Georgia and Atlanta Hawks basketball star Dominique Wilkins, actor Taylor Kitsch and broadcaster Bill Clement.
Scheduled to participate in the Breakaway Challenge are Eastern Conference forwards Ilya Kovalchuk of the All-Star host Atlanta Thrashers, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who will face Western Conference goaltenders Manny Legace of the St. Louis Blues, Evgeni Nabokov of the San Jose Sharks and Chris Osgood of the Red Wings. Western Conference forwards Pavel Datsyuk of the Red Wings, Marian Gaborik of the Minnesota Wild and Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks will oppose Eastern Conference goaltenders Rick DiPietro of the New York Islanders, Tim Thomas of the Bruins and Tomas Vokoun of the Florida Panthers.
A New 'Fastest Skater'
The Fastest Skater contestants will face a different test this year. Starting from a standing position at the goal line, one skater from each Conference will race to the far blue line, a change from past competitions in which skaters completed one lap around the perimeter of the ice surface.
It was not announced yet if Alex would participate in a new 'Fastest Skater', but it would be nice because I think he can win easily. The change emphasize the player's acceleration and the old rule was more about power skating. I believe Ovechkin has the fastest acceleration in the league.