The best and worst moments from the 2022 NHL all-star game


Audrey Blaine

The 2022 NHL All-star game and skills competitions was held in Las Vegas.

The 2022 NHL All-Star weekend came to a close on Saturday, February 5. It was an eventful weekend filled with great highlights, and dazzling moments. This was the first NHL All-Star game since it was in St. Louis in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Las Vegas got a chance to host the game. The NHL All-Star weekend is always interesting to discuss, so here’s a look at the best and worst moments the weekend had to offer. 


Best moment: The return of the breakaway challenge.

The NHL breakaway challenge has not been featured in the All-Star skills competition for a number of years now, but it has finally made a triumphant return. The objective is simple: score a goal in the flashiest way possible. The NHL’s best players delivered on this objective. Anaheim Ducks rookie Trevor Zegras scored a goal blindfolded while dressed as Peter La Fleur, a character from the 2004 film “Dodgeball.” Devils forward Jack Hughes made use of a child, dressed as a mini version of Hughes to score after emerging from a magic box. Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov put the puck in the net while wearing an Alexander Ovechkin jersey in a heartfelt tribute to his fellow Russian super-star. Alex DeBrincat scored using a football thrown by Las Vegas Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr. In the end, the breakaway challenge was entertaining and it demonstrated the creativity of the NHL’s players.


Worst moment: The breakaway challenge winner.

The breakaway challenge was an excellent show with lots of clever moments, so what’s the problem? Well, the winner chosen by the judges was less than deserving. Vegas Golden Knights defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo, won the competition with the most dull shooting attempt of the night. Pietrangelo scored a fairly standard goal while he was flanked by Golden Knight themed drummers — that’s it. The likely reason Pietrangelo won the contest was because the All-Star game was held in Las Vegas. It was disappointing that the weakest breakaway attempt won the whole competition, but in Vegas, the house always wins.


Best moment: The fastest skater competition. 

The fastest skater competition is always fun to watch because it has the clearest objective of any All-Star event: go fast. This year’s competition had some unexpected twists that made it especially interesting. The first surprise was Connor McDavid, three-time fastest skater champion, only placing fourth. The second surprise was the Blues’ Jordan Kyrou winning the entire competition in his first All-Star appearance. Kyrou posted a remarkable time, skating around the entire rink in just 13.550 seconds, barely edging out Kings forward Adrian Kempes second place time of 13.585 seconds.


Worst moment: “21 in 22” competition.

The new “21 in 22” competition was a blackjack-themed event where players lined up and shot at giant cards until they collected a value of 21. This sounds fun in concept, but there was one key issue: whoever designed this event had no idea how accurate NHL players are. Every player hit the exact card they were targeting on almost every shot. There were no losers, because nobody missed, so then it became a weird challenge of who could hit the most ace cards in a row. If you’re confused, don’t worry, so were the players. The only reason this event even ended was because they simply ran out of cards to shoot at.


Best moment: The games.

Once the skills competitions were over with, it was time for the actual All-Star games to begin. The modern All-Star game is a tournament between the best players in each of the four divisions in the NHL. All of the games are 3-on-3 and none of the players are trying on defense which leads to fast-paced, high-scoring games. In the end, the Metropolitan Division defeated the Central Division 5-3 in the finals. But this was only after a series of energetic contests played by the best players in the league. 


Worst moment: The selection process.

OK, technically it’s not part of the All-Star game, but it still needs to be mentioned. The way the NHL selects who becomes an All-Star is ridiculous. By rule, every team must have at least one participant in the games, the host-city also gets an additional player to participate in the weekend. This has led to some of the top players in the league not getting to be All-Stars because their spot was taken by a less deserving player. Some of the notable players that were snubbed from the list are Igor Shesterkin, who is by far the best goaltender in the league this season, as well as forwards like Brad Marchand and Mika Zibanejad, who are both currently tied for 12th in the league in scoring.