ST. LOUIS — Tyler Seguin had some previous experience (kinda sorta), but it didn’t help him Friday night during the Shooting Stars event during the NHL’s Skills Competition in St. Louis.
Shooting Stars was a new event at the Skills Competition this year and featured players standing on a platform above a lower-bowl section behind the net, and shooting pucks into giant targets on the ice. The 12 targets were worth different amounts of points, but the 10-points makeshift Gateway Arch at center ice was the most popular target (“Every time,” Seguin said. “Go big or go home.”)
Seguin finished with 14 points and tied for fifth out of 10 players. He was one Arch-shot away from overtaking winner Patrick Kane’s 22 points and winning the $30,000 prize.
The concept was new to All-Star weekend, but slightly comparable to Dude Perfect, the YouTube trick shot artists who recently shot a video with Seguin and Stars captain Jamie Benn. Seguin said the events were still different.
“It felt actually easier than Dude Perfect so I should have done better,” Seguin said. “I guess I was one shot away, but Dude Perfect we were up in the balcony shooting at a net this big. I know people said I had an advantage, I really didn’t, but I didn’t have a disadvantage either.”
Seguin earned four points on his first shot of the night, which sailed over the Arch and into the four-point net behind it. He nailed the Arch with his sixth shot of the night before missing on his seventh and final one.
Between his sixth and seventh shots, Seguin paused to pump up the Enterprise Center crowd.
“I realized I had one more puck,” Seguin said. “And then I’m like am I at 8 or am I at 14? I couldn’t do the math quick enough. If I’m at 14 and I get this puck in, I’m going to win. So I tried to take my time by going like this to the crowd trying to count.”
Seguin said players practiced the event Thursday night, shooting about five pucks from the platform and he didn’t hit any targets. So the first attempt on Friday night was to gauge how to play the event.
Shooting Stars was the last event of the evening and the most unique since it was the only one that didn’t take place on the ice, didn’t need skates or pads, and featured an entrance through Blues fans from an aisle up to the platform.
Would Seguin do the event again?
“I’d do that event again, but in another breath, I don’t know what we’ve changed but back in the day, the Skills and stuff, it was so cool,” Seguin said. “Now, maybe we’re changing a lot and I don’t know we’re looking to viewers. This year, it could have been different. There’s just been a lot of change. I miss the old days, the classic ways like the real targets and everything.”
— Seguin and Jets forward Mark Scheifele may or may not switch sticks for the first shift of Saturday night’s All-Star Game after Seguin lost a Rock, Paper, Scissors match on the Red Carpet.
“Probably not,” Seguin said. “One shift, we’ll see.”
Seguin and Scheifele have played Rock, Paper, Scissors when the Stars and Jets play in the regular season since both players like to be the final one off the ice after warm-up. Loser leaves the ice, and the winner gets the distinction of last one on the ice.
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