Auston Matthews shows skills at All Star Competition

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Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY SPORTS

On Saturday night, the National Hockey League hosted the Skills Competition component of their All-Star Festivities. Maple Leafs rookie phenom Auston Matthews made appearances in multiple events, with performances ranging from disappointing to excitement inducing.

Introductions


Auston got a bog-standard degree of cheering from the crowd, and he didn’t look overly emotional one way or another. More likely than anything, he’s still getting his head around the fact that, as a 19-year-old, he’s here, playing in the NHL All-Star Game.

Skills Relay


In this event, the Atlantic looked to Matthews to help them with their stickhandling. He may have been a bit nervous, though, because those generational hands that we’ve seen in so many warmups and even games were.. not on display here. Still a good effort, though.

Accuracy Shooting


This is where the kid came out to shine. After Patrik Laine disappointed everyone by taking 22 seconds to clear his four targets, Matthews stepped in and hopped over Connor McDavid on the leaderboard, clearing the board in five shots and 12.28 seconds. He was eventually outdone, but it was by Sidney Crosby, and Crosby was getting much faster passes from his puck helpers.

Shootout


Lastly, we had that weird “bonus points to make most of the event worthless” competition at the end. Matthews put up a pretty uninspired effort and wasn’t able to beat Martin Jones. Hopefully, he’ll be a bit more flashy in the real game tomorrow afternoon; the Atlantic Division won the skills competition and have picked to play second, in the 4:30 game against the Metropolitan Division.