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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The week-long rumored split-up of the Sedin twins indeed took place Friday night.
"We had the feeling before," said Daniel. "It's my first All-Star Game and Henrik's second one. It will be fun. I'm happy. I got picked first."
The twins have never played against each other before.
"I won the first race," said Henrik, who was born six minutes ahead of Daniel back on Sept. 26, 1980. "It was fun talking about [the split], but it's more for media and fans. It would be fun to have the lines play against each other, that's for sure."
There were other familial ties at play Friday night.
Staal, for instance, made his brother Marc, a defenseman with the New York Rangers, sweat a bit, taking Boston's Zdeno Chara ahead of him in the fourth round.
|Can YOU tell the Sedin twins apart? Let's hope the All-Star captains got it right.|
"I was a little surprised obviously," Chara acknowledged. "It's a huge honor being picked early, and when you look at it, Staalsy picked me in front of his brother [and] that tells me a lot and it's a huge honor ..."
Marc Staal joked on television that he was hurt by not being picked earlier in the proceedings (he was finally selected by Eric in the seventh round), but acknowledged that perhaps the new format will inject a little more competition into the traditionally staid All-Star event.
"Nobody really told us what it was going to be like, so nobody really knew what to expect," Marc Staal said. "But it was well done. It was pretty cool, it was a lot of fun. It makes it a little more interesting than East and West, a little different dynamic to it. Hopefully it works out to be a good game."
It may have appeared on TV that Jonathan Toews wasn't super pleased with having to wait until the 16th overall pick in Friday's All-Star draft, but the Chicago Blackhawks captain said that wasn't the case.
"It wasn't a big deal," he joked afterward. "It was kind of funny just sitting there. I was sitting with Corey [Perry] and Rick [Nash] and we were joking. I think everyone was pretty loose. Maybe everyone was a bit nervous before the whole thing, not knowing what to expect, but once we got there and sat down, the pressure was on the captains pretty much. Most of us just sat back and enjoyed it, so it wasn't too bad."
His Blackhawks buddy Patrick Kane enjoyed seeing Toews sweat it out before finally picking him for Team Lidstrom. We asked Toews why he didn't bring up Kane's missed flight from Friday morning on national TV as a comeback.
"I could have thrown him under the bus pretty good," said Toews. "But I got orders I'm not supposed to be talking about that. It was pretty funny, but he made it here on time, thankfully."
Steven Stamkos was juiced about being selected second overall, as Lightning teammate Martin St. Louis helped Team Lidstrom select him with its first pick.
"Marty told me if he had a chance, he'd take me," said Stamkos. "He's usually pretty solid on his word."
We asked Stamkos how much money he had to pay St. Louis to take him so high. "Nothing, I just had to baby sit his kids today on the airplane."
One of the reasons the All-Star fantasy draft resonated with players and fans is the competitive nature of the process.
Who hasn't been in a fantasy draft and tried to plot the best strategy? Who hasn't been in a pick-up game and not fretted about being picked last or next to last?
"It was, I've got to be honest, I was a little bit nervous for some reason, but it was fun," said Chara.
The Boston Bruins defenseman is 6-foot-7 and won the Norris Trophy two years ago and he was nervous about where he might be picked?
"I think that we all had fun," said Chara, who was picked by captain Eric Staal for Team Staal. "It was nice to see everybody had a little fun with it, but also everybody was taking the business seriously, picking the right mix of players. Yeah, I liked it."
The NHL's board of governors will meet Saturday morning in Raleigh, and the issue of blows to the head is expected to dominate the discussion, a number of sources have told ESPN.com.
It's believed Colin Campbell, the NHL's executive vice president and director of hockey operations, will present a video compilation of various head shots, including the blow that arguably knocked Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby out of action.
The upshot of the discussion is believed to be that the concussions being sustained are not from a specific type of blow to the head, but rather different types of hits.
Patrick Sharp's parents made a long trek to Raleigh.
"They had a heck of a travel day yesterday and last night," Sharp said.
His parents flew from his native Thunder Bay, Ontario, to Minneapolis and then Newark, but the flight to Raleigh got canceled Thursday.
"They met some friends on the plane, rented a van and decided to drive," said Sharp. "They drove from midnight to 8 a.m. from Newark to Raleigh just to be here. I better do something special this weekend."
Anze Kopitar hopes his Los Angeles Kings can rebound post All-Star break. The first half certainly didn't go as planned.
"It was definitely surprising," Kopitar said Friday night. "I don't think anybody expected that. It was a roller-coaster, but we battled back. Last few games before the break, we got back on track. Hopefully after the break we can keep it going and meet the goals we want to accomplish. It won't be easy, but it'll show the character of the team."
The loss of defenseman Alexander Edler (back surgery) is a huge loss for the Western Conference-leading Canucks. He is out indefinitely.
"He's been our best defenseman, so without a doubt it's going to be a tough loss for us," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said Friday night. "But it's like Sami Salo not being there. The guys are going to have to pull together and get the job done."
One guy with a bigger smile on his face Friday compared to a month ago was Patrik Elias, the only member of the New Jersey Devils who was invited to All-Star weekend.
Although they dropped a 3-1 decision against Detroit in their final game before the break, the Devils are playing their best hockey of what has been a difficult season so far.
Still, Elias wasn't bemoaning the break in action.
"The break is a break," Elias said. "I think even that we've been playing better, the first 40 games take a lot out of you, especially when you're not playing well, mentally and physically. Everything seems tougher. ... The guys will really enjoy [the break] and ... I think it came at the right time actually."
After a grisly start that cost rookie coach John MacLean his job, Elias said the atmosphere around the rink is markedly different.
"I think we just enjoyed it and kind of have that feeling that we can win any game against anybody," Elias said. "We've been playing better hockey, no doubt. It gives you confidence, and we're more happy to come to work, to practice, and it shows in the game."
Shea Weber was the lone Nashville player selected to play in the All-Star Game, and the Preds hit the break on a tear (10 wins in their past 14 games). That will up the expectations for the Predators to make the playoffs and win their first playoff series.
While the outside view of the Predators is that they are an overachieving team, Weber said that's not the view from within the locker room.
"I don't think we ever doubt ourselves," Weber said. "Obviously, the people on the outside looking in might think that. We've got to play with that confidence that we have, guys that come in and step up, or else teams are going to come in and roll over us."
The defenseman with the big shot also admitted he thought his defensive partner Ryan Suter also belonged in Raleigh. As for getting a text or call about his draft status, Weber said he wasn't sure he'd get one given that Suter was back at home on his farm and likely driving a tractor.