In what proved to be a surprisingly entertaining evening, Nicklas Lidstrom proved his hockey smarts by building what is probably the best All Star team in recent memory, leaving Eric Staal to pick his hometown guys, his brother, and a bunch of good but not great players (and unfortunately David Backes, who I wanted to go to team Lidstrom for personal reasons – I’m tired of splitting my loyalties every game that I watch). Team Lidstrom, with alternate captains Patrick Kane and Martin St. Louis, picked the best goaltender in the game with their choice of Tim Thomas, and built an offensively and defensively balanced team around him that will probably walk away with the win.
Highlights of the evening included the Sedin Twins getting split up, Eric Staal picking goalie Henrik Lundqvist before his brother Marc Staal on purpose, the constant interviews with a very uncomfortable Jonathan Toews, and poor Phil Kessel, who was chosen last overall but went to the better of the two teams. The NHL was gracious enough to make up for the heat given to him by TSN commentator James Duthie with $20,000 to be given to the charity of his choice and a new Honda, which is presumably also to be given to charity.
The complete rosters can be found on NHL.com. Dustin Byfuglien’s team for the weekend looks like this:
Martin St. Louis