Predators defenseman Shea Weber didn't disappoint his captain.
In the first NHL All-Star game in which captains chose up sides like a schoolyard pick-up game, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom had only one request.
Coaches had asked the 40-year-old Lidstrom what that might be, and he said the only special treatment he wanted was to play with Weber.
"This was very special because he is one of the best defensemen ever to play the game," Weber said after Sunday's 11-10 win over Team Staal. "I've watched him growing up."
Lidstrom led his team with one assist and a plus-7 rating. He was on the ice for eight of his team's 11 goals, and Weber was plus-6 with four assists. As no player scored more than two goals, their stats were noteworthy.
"He picked the winning team and he was plus-7," Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal said. "It was a pretty good night."
Lidstrom is the first player to be plus-7 in an All-Star game since Adam Oates had the same rating for the Campbell Conference in an 11-5 win against Wales Conference at Chicago Stadium in 1991.
"I didn't know Nick at all before this weekend," Staal said. "He has a ton of class, and he's a great guy and obviously a tremendous player."
Even in an All-Star format where everyone is bobbing and weaving like they were having fun on a frozen pond, Weber could see why Lidstrom has won six Norris trophies.
"Nothing against (Predators partner Ryan) Suter because he's a heckuva player, too," Weber said, "but Lidstrom does the little things out there and he is so smart. Quick decisions by him."
This was the first time NHL used the fantasy draft format.
"It made it more of an exciting weekend because everyone was anticipating the draft," Lidstrom said. "Who was going to get picked first? Who was going to be the last guy picked? It created a lot of hype. I thought it was successful."
Shea Weber gets 4 assists in all-star game
Tennessean | Jan 31