The Sheraton in Downtown Raleigh is decked out and ready for the NHL All Star Festivities. (photo by LTD)
Cory and I are more known for our Entry Draft mock drafts, but since a draft is something new for the All Star Game, we felt like we would give an All Star fantasy mock draft a try. There were some unknowns when we completed this, for instance we didn't know how the rookies would fill in for the injured players, but we gave it our best shot.
I represented Team Staal and Cory made the choices for Team Lidstrom, (home team picked first.)
After the jump, check out the results of mock draft, along with an explanation of why we made our choices.
Here's what Cory had to say regarding his choices:
Team Lidstrom (as chosen by Cory Lavalette)
Serving as captain opposite Eric Staal, Nicklas Lidstrom will realize he's going to be the de factor road team come All Star Weekend. With that in mind, the team is drafted with the goal of winning Sunday's game. The best way to win an All Star Game? Get teammates who are familiar with each other and take advantage of the opposition’s comfort level with new teammates.
First Line: Jonathan Toews - Alexander Ovechkin - Patrick Kane
The Logic: Blackhawks Toews and Kane are obviously quite used to playing together, and you can't help but think they'd be even better if you throw A.O. on a line with them. Kane gets an A as the reigning Stanley Cup captain.
Second Line: Evgeni Malkin - Louis Eriksson - Martin St. Louis
The Logic: Eriksson isn't among the top six most talented forwards on this squad, but you'll see on the third line why he is slotted here. Really the only reason this is the second line instead of the third is Malkin, who was among those voted into the game by the fans but takes a back seat to Toews, the Cup-winning captain and Conn Smythe recipient. St. Louis brings speed, Malkin brings size and skill, and Eriksson can finish around the net.
Third Line: Henrik Sedin - Daniel Sedin - Corey Perry
The Logic: It's obvious, isn't it? Twins have mind powers. So teaming up the Brothers Sedin is a no-brainer. The chief beneficiary is Perry, who gets to be set up by the reigning Hart Trophy winner and his clone. In fact, for the weekend we're going to call him Corey Sedin. Henrik Sedin earns the second alternate letter over the other forward captain on Team Lidstrom (Ovechkin), mostly because he's on a different line from Toews and he's the reigning MVP.
Fourth Line: Patrik Elias - Ales Hemsky - David Backes
The Logic: I'll admit that these are the leftovers, plus Hemsky's injury issues mean he may not even be in attendance at the end of the month. These are three oft-forgotten players. Elias is pure scorer, while Backes has emerged as an underrated power forward. Hemsky's skills are amazing, but he can sometimes disappear. But with no defense to be found in an All Star Game, this line has the potential to boast a surprise MVP.
First Pairing: Duncan Keith - Nicklas Lidstrom (C)
The Logic: Lidstrom's perfect passing plus Keith's high-rising one-timer is an equation for goals. As the game's elder statesman, Lidstrom would likely be happy to dish to Keith and watch him pile up goals. Two left-handed shots here but it doesn't matter because of their skill.
Second Pairing: Dan Boyle - Zdeno Chara
The Logic: Chara, as everyone knows, is big, tough and boasts a rocket slapshot. Boyle's no slouch shooting the puck either, plus his mobility complements Chara's more lumbering speed. Boyle could rove a bit and not have to worry about his partner covering for him. We've matched a righty (Boyle) with a leftie.
Third Pairing: Brent Burns - Erik Karlsson
The Logic: When Karlsson was told by Senators coach Cory Clouston he had made the team, his immediate response was, "Why?" We'll ask the same about Burns’ beard (insert link: http://cdn.nhl.com/photos/
Marc-Andre Fleury - Jonas Hiller - Carey Price
The Logic: Fleury was voted in, so he gets the nod to start. Both Hiller and Price have been the main reason their respective teams are in the playoff hunt. We'll give Hiller the second period so we can appease the Montreal fans and let Price close things out.
Team Staal, (as chosen by Bob Wage)
Staal will be looking to please the home crowd with his choices, but he's out to win as well. If Crosby can't play, that ruins his first overall choice, but if it's true that rookies can fill in for the injured, then Jeff Skinner would slip in well and give the RBC faithful another reason to cheer. There are a ton of centers in this lineup, so some folk will be out of position, (not that it matters too much.)
First Line: (assuming Crosby does not play) Steven Stamkos - Patrick Sharp - Rick Nash
The Logic: Each of these players would be at their natural positions and should feed well off each other. Why not?
Second Line: Brad Richards - Claude Giroux - Danny Briere
The Logic: Briere and Giroux are teammates and should know each other well. Richards is a great set up guy. This line could be dangerous.
Third Line: Eric Staal - Anze Kopitar - Jeff Skinner
The Logic: Skinner and Staal on the same line would be a treat to watch in this game. Mix in the slick moves of Kopitar and some goals are guaranteed.
Fourth Line: Kesler - Duchene - Kessel
The Logic: Lots of teams would love this fourth line. Duchene and Kessel are both young talents who might mesh well with Kesler.
First pairing: Shea Weber - Kris Letang
The Logic: No one wants to stand in front of these guys' shots. (I also picked Weber to give us a chance at the hardest shot competition, since Cory selected Chara just previous to my pick).
Second Pairing: Tobias Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien
The Logic: Teammates and each of them have a ton of points. Watch out.
Third Pairing: Marc Staal - Mike Green
The Logic: Staal can concentrate on "defense" while Green has the green light to roam at will.
Cam Ward - Henrik Lundqvist - Tim Thomas
Ward is the homeboy choice, while Thomas and Lundqvist are the best of the rest, (in my opinion). Start out with Ward to get the crowd into the game. Lundqvist can play the second period, then close out with Thomas and hope that he keeps playing like he has been recently.