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Flyers teammates become rivals for a day

by Mike G. Morreale /
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux has already told teammate Danny Briere to keep his head up.

Only time will tell what Giroux has up his sleeve when the NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover is held Sunday. But one thing is certain: Briere and Giroux, teammates with the Philadelphia Flyers during the regular season, will be on opposite teams Sunday -- and will be looking to take care of business.

"I told him to keep his head up since you never know what's going to happen," Giroux said after Friday night's 2011 All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco. "I'm sure they'll be some cross-checking and some slashing, and (Briere's) three kids are chirping too. They're saying the blue team (Team Lidstrom) is going to win, so I have to prove him wrong."

Briere just laughed when told of Giroux's comment.

"I'll do my talking on the ice," he said.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, who will be coaching Briere for Team Lidstrom against Team Staal, was already talking smack to Giroux following the fantasy draft.

"I already gave him a hard time … told him I was going to wrap him up and not let him do much out there, so it'll be fun," Laviolette said. "He's a great player, and I'm sure he'll do a great job."

While it would have been nice to play on the same team, Giroux is prepared to go head-to-head against Briere.

"It would have been nice to be on the same team, but now we're playing against each other so it's going to be intense," said Giroux, who's riding a seven-game points streak into his first All-Star Game. "It'll be fun and I can't wait for the game."

As it turned out, Briere, who is appearing in his second All-Star Game, was selected 12th overall by Team Lidstrom while Giroux was taken 25th overall by Team Staal.

"We were joking about it," Briere said of the selections. "We were even thinking that maybe we might be the last two guys picked since nobody likes the Flyers. We thought they might leave us all the way back; it was just some bragging rights more than anything else."

Briere, who leads the Flyers with 26 goals, was a bit nervous as the draft went on.

"In the beginning, you're sitting there and waiting for your name to be called," Briere said. "I was nervous, but I guess I was lucky they called my name early, so it wasn't as bad. Waiting on those last four or five guys, was tough."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
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