(It probably helped peoples’ confidence that Zdeno Chara didn’t make the All-Star Game.)
Weber didn’t really approach it as a foregone conclusion, though.
He admitted that he was nervous heading into the event, and he used a stick that Sportsnet compared to a “crowbar” to unleash his near-record slapper.
NHL.com provided a behind the scenes (actually, behind the bench) take on the Skills Competition, and the flex of Weber’s stick sure seemed like the talk of the town. One of the best bits came fro Tyler Seguin:
Seguin comes over and starts talking about Weber and the upcoming Hardest Shot competition. He says he tried to flex Weber’s stick and he couldn’t even bend it a little.
“I put my whole body weight into it and I couldn’t do it,” Seguin says. “Either it’s that stiff, or he’s that strong. Or both.”
Weber went with a 130-flex stick, already up from his normal 122. Other All-Star defensemen didn’t even hit the 100 range, as Aaron Ekblad went from his normal 87 to 95. (This Hockey Flex Finder suggests a stick at 112 or so, although it’s plausible that Weber is one of those cases that break the scale.)
In a quick search, it’s difficult to come up with flex for Chara’s record-breaking stick, as flex wasn’t discussed in his case as much as how long the stick is.
Long story short? Weber definitely cared about winning the competition, and he’s crazy-strong.
Also, never mock someone who opts not to block his shot. Yikes.