The 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend is here as the Skills Competitions open things up. Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators is being left out of one key event.
It’s hard for me to understand how Roman Josi will not actually be competing in any of the events for the Skills Competition. I thought he’d for sure be a lock to participate in the Fastest Skater event, and maybe even the Hardest Shot event as well.
Instead, Josi will just be an extra in the Save Streak competition, because someone has to be there to throw pucks at the goaltenders. One of the most dynamic skaters and offensive players in the game, but he won’t be showing those skills off this time around.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) January 24, 2020
There’s nothing out there that suggests Josi decided to skip the event, so my thought is the NHL decided to just leave him out.
This makes zero sense to me as there’s plenty of fans out there who would love to see Josi show off his skills. He’s becoming a household name around the league, if he’s not already.
Skills competition participants announced
There are still some pretty exciting players obviously participating in these events tonight as they’ve finally been announced. The Fastest Skater event was the one I was hoping Josi would be in, and I was for sure he’d be announced as one. I was wrong.
However, I am excited to see Jack Eichel, Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid and Matthew Barzal compete. That’a pretty solid collection right there just with those four, but how Josi wasn’t fit into one of the other four slots is baffling to me.
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McDavid won the event last year, with Eichel and Barzal coming up just behind him. MacKinon is a new addition to the field, along with the other four participants.
Then there’s the Hardest Shot competition, which is probably the most entertaining one to watch. I’m less surprised about Josi not making this one, but he does have a really strong shot from the point.
Shea Weber always owned this event when he played for the Nashville Predators, and he’s back again this year representing the Montreal Canadiens. He didn’t compete in it last year, and John Carlson of the Washington Capitals won it with a shot of 102.8 MPH.
It’s kind of a letdown to see Josi not compete in any of the events despite his level of stardom rising around the NHL, and his obvious skill set. That just means he’ll have to take things over in the game itself on Saturday as he’ll represent the Central Division in the four-team tournament.
Here’a quote from Josi via Brooks Bratten on how he feels about representing Nashville this weekend:
#Preds Captain Roman Josi on #NHLAllStar Weekend: “It’s a huge honor to represent Nashville. Nashville is such a first-class organization, and there’s so much respect around the League for the Predators and for the organization. I’m really happy to represent Nashville.”
— Brooks Bratten (@brooksbratten) January 24, 2020
Let’s hope that he holds nothing back in the Save Streak event and plays a key role in these goaltenders not building their streaks very high. That’s all we can root for on Friday night, aside from seeing some competitive events that come down to the end.
In all seriousness, it should be fun to watch and I’m predicting Eichel to overthrow McDavid for the Fastest Skater, and Carlson to defend his Hardest Shot crown. Not sure Weber can slap the puck like he once did, but it would be cool to see him win it again.
Other events will include the Elite Women’s 3-on-3 game in which we’ll be able to see Team USA’s All-Stars go up against Canada’s All-Stars. I’m really intrigued to see this and glad the NHL added this to the All-Star weekend.
Everything is scheduled to get started at 7 P.M. CDT on NBC Sports Network, with the 2020 All-Star Game coming on Saturday night on NBC.