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2014 NHL Draft
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Making my picks

Saturday, 01.29.2011 / 12:00 PM

By Andrew Montag - NHL.com Fan Blogger / Road Trip to Raleigh

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Road Trip to Raleigh
Making my picks
The Carolina Hurricanes fans are lining up eight-deep at every event that is part of the NHL All-Star Weekend, whether it be Friday’s player draft show at NHL Fan Fest or Saturday afternoon’s Red Carpet walk before tonight’s Honda NHL SuperSkills competition. To give you a bit of perspective—and appreciation for the “Caniac” fans—NHL.com has invited New Yorker and high school student Andrew Montag, 17, to blog his visitor’s impressions over the next two days:

Just took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York, headed for Raleigh-Durham. One hour and 20 minutes until All-Star weekend official begins for me. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Andrew Montag, a senior from Ardsley High School in New York, and I will be giving all the fans an inside look and perspective of the events that will transpire this weekend.

Upon landing, NHL Fan Fest will certainly be an early stop. All fans love interactive events, and Fan Fest certainly gets everyone involved. Tonight, beneath the roof of the RBC Center, we will all witness the top players in the world take to the ice for the famed Honda NHL SuperSkills. Here are my pre-competition predictions for the marquis individual skills events of the evening:

Hardest Shot: Zdeno Chara (in a runaway)

Breakaway Challenge: Alex Ovechkin (Can he pull of the three-peat?)

Tomorrow, the RBC Center will be filled to its capacity for the new and improved NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover. We all know how the format of the event has been revised, with the "drafting" of the team, and as a loyal New York Rangers fan, I'm putting my money on Team Staal. The hometown boy will deliver to his faithful, and Lundqvist will be stingy in net. To me, Lidstrom went with a questionable first pick in Steven Stamkos, allowing Ovechkin to pair up with Eric Staal. Final prediction: Team Staal 6, Team Lidstrom 4.

Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis