This season's NHL All-Star game will follow a different selection format than ever before. Instead of squaring off by conference or country of origin, the showcase game will resemble a two-team Fantasy Hockey League, with each teams' Captain in charge of picking their team. It's a novel idea and one that will take a lot of research to do well.
Unfortunately, with their busy schedules, All-Star Captains Nicklas Lidstrom and Eric Staal probably don't have much time to mull over statistics and scouting reports. Luckily, we're here to help by providing some tips for the 2011 NHL All-Star captains to help in their decisions.
1. If one Sedin is taken, take the other immediately. It'll be funny to see them constantly passing the puck to their twin on the other team and looking totally confused for the entire game.
2. Don't pick your brother. It's tacky Eric.
3. Also tacky: Ericksson, the Sedins, Lunsqvist, Enstrom and Karlsson on the same team. We're watching you Nick. Don't hoard all the Swedes.
4. Do pick your own goalie. It almost ensures that Cam Ward will be buying you drinks all weekend.
5. Don't be afraid to make Mike Green your #1 pick. He's not good enough for the Olympics, but his skill set practically screams 'All-Star Game Stud'.
6. Someone will be the break-out star of the game. That player will not be Marc-Andre Fleury.
7. Crosby is a risky pick. Sure, he'll probably get a few goals, but all those pats on the helmet in celebration might piss him off.
7. Since no one blocks shots during All-Star games, it's safe to take Ovechkin. On that note, it's ok to bail out when Zdeno Chara winds up.
8. Don't bother looking for your friends on the Islanders, Coyotes, Sabres or Panthers. They're all off playing their own All-Star games... on NHL 11 for Xbox. And they're not bitter about it at all. But you're still not invited.
9. I'm hoping at least one player makes a public statement petitioning to play for a specific Captian. Spoiler: that player probably won't be petitioning to play for you Eric.
10. Have fun with it. Whether you know it or not, you're auditioning for the role of GM of the Calgary Flames.
11. Ovie-Stamkos-Nash. That's all I'm saying.