The 2011 National Hockey League All star game will be played on Sunday, January 30, 2011 in Raleigh, North Carolina at the 18,680 seat RBC Center, home of the Carolina Hurricanes. The teams were selected on Friday night and they are ready to square off. A unique concept for the selecting the teams emerged for 2011. Team Captains were named and then they, in turn, were allowed to choose up sides. The captains were Eric Staal and Nicklas Lidstrom. This was televised on Versus for fans to watch. Before we make predictions and check the odds, let’s preview the teams by position.
Team Staal won the puck flip and selected Cam Ward as his first player. This was a fan favorite from the hosting team. His other goals are Henrik Lundqvist and Carey Price from Montreal. Team Lidstrom waited until the fifth round to select Tim Thomas from Boston and then selected in consecutive picks the goalie from Pittsburgh, Marc-Andre Fleury followed by Jonas Hiller from the Anaheim Ducks. Lidstrom came out on top in these selection in that he has selected three of the top six in goals against average.
Know one can talk defense in the National Hockey League or play it any better than Nicklas Lidstrom. It shows in his selection for the draft. He took Duncan Keith, from the Blackhawks, Dustin Byfuglien of the Thrashers to man those lines. His Defensemen are more score first players and scoring wins games. Team Staal took Kris Letang from the Penguins and Dan Boyle from San Jose. Also chosen was his brother Marc Staal to play along side him.
Eric Staal, team captain, took Ryan Kesler from Vancouver as his first center. Kesler has 27 goals for the season. Later he chose Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny. Nicklas Lidstrom pick centers that have ore goals this season. He took Henrik Sedin, Jonatan Toews from the defending Stanley Cup Chicago Blackhawks and high scorer Steven Stamkos and 67 goals.
Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets and David Backes from the St Louis Blues will man this position for Team Staal. Blackhawks player, Patrick Kane will be a Team Lidstrom player along with Martin St Louis, Danny Briere and Martin Havlat.
Team Lidstrom may have found their weakest position in the draft as they selected Loui Eriksson of the Dallas Stars and then he plans to move some players into that slot. Team Staal chose Alex Ovechkin as his first selection. Also he chose Daniel Dedin and Patrick Sharp to round out his team.
Prediction and Odds
Lots of fun and excitement is in store for the fans of the Carolina Hurricanes. Team Staal will likely be the fan favorite as he selected three players from their team. The Staal brothers will be fun to watch. Team Lidstrom has the goalies and the scorers for the match-up. Just how hard they try might be the issue. With that our prediction is for Team Lidstrom to win this game.They have a clear advantage in almost every position on the ice. Check back for the odds as it gets closer to game time.
Our pick: Team Lidstrom by one goal