Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mike "Wild Thing" Green?

During the Capitals' thrilling 5-4 overtime win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday, the color commentator remarked that Mike Green's skating style reminds him of Al Iafrate. That's pretty solid company for Greenie.

In 1992, Iafrate became the first player to officially break the 100-mph shot barrier, when he did so in front of a Capital Centre crowd of 9,000 at Washington's Superskills competition. The event was one of 24 team-sponsored skills competitions throughout the league, with the top four qualifiers in each conference earning a spot in the skills competition at the All-Star Game. Iafrate, who attributed his success to "clean living," had the hardest qualifying shot among Wales Conference players that season; his 101.4 mph rocket beat out the likes of Uwe Krupp and Zarley Zalapski.

Amazingly, Iafrate's time in the fastest skater competition ranked second in the Wales Conference behind Mike Gartner and .06 seconds ahead of fellow All-Star qualifier and teammate Peter Bondra.

Iafrate didn't disappoint at the All-Star Game, blasting a shot that was measured at 105.2 mph. The video above is from the following season, when Iafrate retained his title with a shot that only registered at 102 mph.

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