OTTAWA | Any faster and the puck might have snapped the net. Zdeno Chara’s 108.8 mph slap shot was already a crowd-pleasing record Saturday night at the NHL All-Star SuperSkills Competition, and the Boston Bruins captain managed to make 106 look like a slow shot.
Chara was the star at Scotiabank Place for the skills competition as he broke his own hardest shot record three times in winning the event for the fifth straight year.
“I was also happy to break the record in Ottawa where I played and spent some time,” Chara said. “I want to be better every season when I step on the ice and everything I do I want to do better.”
Players’ jaws dropped upon Chara’s record-breaking performance.
“You want to jump in front of that every time, eh? Jeez, it’s impressive,” Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla said. “It’s almost ridiculous. Now you’re at 108. where does it stop, eh? That’s a very, very hard shot.”
Ridiculous is a good word for it. Dennis Wideman, a former teammate of Chara, wasn’t surprised though.
“Every year he’s going to get harder,” the Washington Capitals defenseman said. “There must be a knack to it, because he seems to be getting better and better every year.”
Shea Weber hit 106 on the radar gun but couldn’t touch Chara. Seeing 108.8 show up was quite the experience for even the other All-Stars.
“I was kind of speechless, actually,” Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said. “I knew that was a hard one. You could tell when he shot it that was a hard one.”
Can Chara one day break the 110 mph mark?
“We’ll see,” he said.
Price is … Tebow?
Patrick Kane’s Superman cape, Clark Kent glasses and exploding puck and Corey Perry and his mini stick made the breakaway challenge fun again. Price and St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott played along, too.
Elliott sprawled all over the crease as shooters made their attempts and Price actually turned around when Sean Couturier was skating in on him.
Then there was Price dropping to a knee like Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
“Yeah, it was an attempt at a Tebow,” Price said, citing the difficulty of pads.