New York Islanders John Tavares & Josh Bailey in Skills Competition
By Tim Ryder
This afternoon the NHL announced the competitors for tonight’s 2018 GEICO NHL Skills Competition. John Tavares and Josh Bailey of the New York Islanders will be competing in the Fastest Skater and Puck Control Relay, respectively.
Today the NHL announced which players would be competing in the 2018 GEICO NHL Skills Competition being held tonight at NHL All-Star Weekend at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. The New York Islanders John Tavares and Josh Bailey have both been selected to compete in tonight’s festivities.
Josh Bailey will be competing in the Enterprise NHL Fastest Skater Competition. He and the rest of the field will be up against heavy favorite Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. John Tavares will be testing his skills in the Gatorade NHL Puck Control Relay, formerly known as the Skills Challenge Relay.
Here are the complete lists of participants in all of tonight’s competitions:
Changes made to this year’s NHL All-Star Skills Competition
There have been a few minor tweaks made to this year’s edition of the Skills Competition. The big news is that instead of employing a team-based format to determine a “grand champion” of sorts, the winner of each competition will receive $25,000.
There are a few events that have been removed from the competition. The fan-favorite Breakaway Challenge, as well as the Shootout (for obvious reasons) and Four-Line Challenge events have been replaced by the aforementioned Passing Challenge and Save Streak goaltender event.
My predictions for tonight’s festivities
Enterprise NHL Fastest Skater – In an upset, I take Nate McKinnon over the heavily favored Connor McDavid. Sorry, Josh Bailey. Not even sure why you’re in this event, actually.
Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting – Since he’s not winning the Calder Trophy this year, let’s give Brock Boeser a consolation prize.
Dunkin’ Donuts NHL Passing Challenge – I love the mix of defensemen and forwards in this field. I’m torn between Nikita Kucherov and Oliver Ekman-Larsson in this one. Gotta go with Kucherov.
Gatorade NHL Puck Control Relay – Who do you think I’m picking? Our fearless leader, John Tavares of the New York Islanders.
PPG NHL Hardest Shot – It’s going to come down to P.K. Subban and Brent Burns. And though I really like Subban, I believe Burns will take it.
GEICO NHL Save Streak – Well, since he looked incredible the other night in a loss to our New York Islanders, I’m going with Marc-Andre Fleury of the fairy-tale Vegas Golden Knights to come out on top here.
Next: Coliseum Announcement Coming Monday (Reports)
Coverage details for tonight’s competition and tomorrow’s 2018 NHL All-Star Game can be found at NHL.com. Enjoy, everybody!