After losing the puck during an initial breakaway attempt, John Carlson’s night during the All-Star Skills Competition got off to an inauspicious start.
But by the end of the night, the first-time All-Star would prove he belonged. Carlson won the Hardest Shot Competition, slapping a puck 102.8 MPH towards a yawning net and keeping the title with Washington for a second straight year.
After the competition ended, Braden Holtby and John Carlson were caught on NHL.com mics talking about the team’s powerplay. It does not appear that either knew they were on camera.
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Holtby suggested Carlson should switch spots with Alex Ovechkin at the left circle.
“You’re going to tell Ovi that you guys need to switch spots on the PP now that you shoot harder than him,” Holtby said.
“Yeah. I should, yeah,” Carlson responded quizzically. “I don’t know if he’d like it though.”
The two Caps players laugh.
While Holtby appears to be joking, the Capitals once powerful powerplay has struggled as of late. Since December, the team is only connecting on only 14.5 percent of their powerplays, 22nd best in the NHL. Carlson has one goal on the powerplay this season while Ovi has 10.
When speaking with reporters after his big night, Carlson said he didn’t have any expectations but was excited to win.
“It was cool,” Carlson said. “I’ve never clocked [my shot] since I was a teenager or something like that. I had no idea what to expect.”
How fast was it then?
“Probably in the 60s,” he said smiling. “I had some faith in myself. I didn’t know where it would land.”
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