nhl

Briere shines but West wins All-Star Game

Daniel Briere

Daniel Briere

1/25/2007 2:50:01 AM

DALLAS (CP) - Daniel Briere was the ''other guy'' all week long until the puck dropped in the 55th NHL all-star game.

The Buffalo Sabres centre had a goal and four assists and was named MVP, taking home a brand-new Dodge Nitro after recording the second-highest point total in all-star game history.

Not bad for a guy who was somewhat of an afterthought as the third forward voted to start alongside Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin for the Eastern Conference all-stars.

''For me it was just exciting to be on the same starting line as those two great young players, the face of the NHL,'' said Briere. ''Even if other people called me `the other guy' on that line it was fine with me. .

''Listen, I've come a long way. I was once waived a few years ago and nobody even picked me up. This night is very special.''


 

Briere was waived by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2001. No other NHL club thought to pick him up at the time.

Briere's Eastern Conference team lost 12-9 to the Western Conference, but this event is never about who won or lost. In fact, Briere is the fourth consecutive all-star MVP from the losing team.

After taking the obligatory opening shift with his more celebrated linemates, Briere was shuffled to a new line with Marian Hossa and Dany Heatley. Briere rekindled the magic he first found alongside Heatley with Team Canada at the 2003 and 2004 IIHF world championships, opening the scoring 3:38 into the game on a nice backdoor play after a cross-crease pass by Heatley.

''It's really hard to explain but whenever we've played together we always have a real nice connection,'' Briere said of his chemistry with Heatley.

Yanic Perreault and Brian Rolston also looked like regular linemates, scoring two goals apiece for the West. Their makeshift checking line with Bill Guerin also performed defensively, shutting down Crosby's line.

''When you're playing against two great young stars like that you just hope you don't embarrass yourself,'' said Perreault.

The much-anticipated magic show of Crosby and Ovechkin never materialized, as the two second-year dynamos didn't seem to click playing together for the first time. There was little chemistry in their play and some passes seemed forced as both players tried to set up the other on a line with old goat Brendan Shanahan.

''That's usually what happens in your first all-star game,'' said Shanahan. ''Most young guys come in here and they overpass.''

The 19-year-old Crosby was pointless in his first career all-star game, not a first by any means. A 19-year-old Wayne Gretzky was also shut out in his first all-star game in 1980. Will the comparisons never cease?

''That definitely makes me feel a little better,'' Crosby said with a laugh. ''Maybe I'll sleep easier tonight. But it would be nice to get one eventually.''

There'll be plenty more all-star games for Sid the Kid.

Ovechkin did score a goal, the Washington Capitals winger flipping in a rebound past Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff at 13:32 of the second period while overextending his shift and Crosby already on the bench.

Rick Nash and Martin Havlat also had two goals apiece while Dion Phaneuf, Patrick Marleau, Teemu Selanne and Lubomir Visnovsky also scored for the Western Conference, which avenged a 6-4 loss to the Eastern Conference in the last all-star game, February 2004 in Minnesota.

Veteran Joe Sakic, the 2004 all-star game MVP, had four assists to set the all-time all-star record for assists at 16, moving past Mark Messier's 14. His 22 career points are only three behind Gretzky for the all-time lead.

Zdeno Chara had a pair while Heatley, Sheldon Souray, Justin Williams, Martin St. Louis and Eric Staal also scored for the Eastern Conference, which led 5-4 in the second period before the West blew it open with four straight goals.

Briere's five points are the most since Heatley turned the same trick at the 2003 all-star game in Vancouver while also winning MVP honours. Mario Lemieux has the record with six points at the 1988 game.

New Jersey Devils netminder Martin Brodeur was victimized for six second-period goals but made the save of the game, an acrobatic glove grab on San Jose Sharks winger Jonathan Cheechoo.

As all-star games go, this one wasn't too bad at all. It was a no-hitter as usual  - defenceman Tomas Kaberle stepped out of the way to let Joe Thornton skate by in the first period instead of rubbing him out along the boards - but there were plenty of nice set-ups and big saves. The players were actually skating hard unlike the YoungStars Game the previous night.

''It was fast, guys competed hard for an all-star game,'' said Crosby.

Nash's first goal 10:40 into the second period was the goal of the night, the Columbus Blue Jackets winger bursting through the middle of the zone and around defenceman Brian Campbell before using his reach to deke around Brodeur.

Notes: The 21 goals was the third-highest total in all-star game history, trailing the 26 in 2001 at Denver and 22 in 1993 at Montreal. Mike Leggo of North Bay, Ont., and Greg Kimmerly of Toronto were the referees. . Grammy-nominated country duo The Wreckers performed the U.S. anthem while vocalist Giorgia Fumanti did a stirring rendition of `O Canada'. Unfortunately she also spilled to the ice on her way out. . Ovechkin was wearing a new Oakley visor which appeared darker than what he was using this season. . At least one former Quebec Major Junior Hockey League netminder has appeared in each and every NHL all-star game since 1986, Brodeur and Luongo continuing that tradition Wednesday night. . Next year's all-star game goes in Atlanta and will also be a mid-week event. . Former Dallas Cowboy Daryl (Moose) Johnston was on hand.






NO. AUTHOR MESSAGE
1vokes2Total BOREDOM!! This is what Gary Bettman thinks ...
2abootAND WHICH GOALIE had the best GAA? Why that would ...
3StreakingRedWEST UP! Nice work, boys! ...
4MTL_canadiens_adrigood game by both sides... very exiting : saves, g ...
5sTyLnKgreat game! fast paced and over a real joy to watc ...
6Ziz0u66This game was actually more entertaining than i th ...
7leafsforever13For being a showcase of talent I didn't see too ma ...
8theoneLeaffanI remember when the line-up was posted everyone wa ...
9blackflag78Actually a pretty entertaining game; about what yo ...
10JBHabNo different from any other NHL Game: No hitting a ...
11max99Crosby should staw away from the Western Teams con ...
12betbjork I understand why that guy wanted Rory in from Van ...
13mastacooliethe ALLSTAR game is an embarssement to hockey... ...
14nick110Sure the game could have been better, at least hav ...
15sabresfan91Way to be danny briere! Briere is awesome and im n ...
16bertuzzi77ahh that was disgusting, but at least it had an e ...
17draftguyjrDon't even have the game. The players don't reall ...
18vjoshi99Absolutely boring hockey game. It's cool to see s ...
19mottI don't know what the people who say this was an e ...
20ajaybalBriere. You proved me wrong. I admit it. Way to ...
21halfcutskeletonA little bit of hitting would have been nice but a ...
22KnowledgistIn all honesty, you could have taken the best 2nd ...
23canadianhockeyfanI can't believe some of these comments. This is an ...
24Mr_SelfdestructGary Bettman needs to go, honestly we need a hardc ...
25tcb58It's what hockey should be,if it wasn't about the ...
26eidsvigI honestly don't understand why they gave Smyth so ...
27zagahocki don't undestand everyone's hatred towards the al ...
28madasharTo those who say "boring": there are 1230 games of ...
29goleafsgowhat was with the canadian national anthem? she w ...
30CBJ_all_d_wayRick Nash, you are the best! ...
31mrzeroWorst of the 4 major sports allstar games.If the N ...
32SabresBlueAndGoldGreat Job Danny. Throwing out favourtism, Rick Na ...
33bjyanksAlthough I like Briere, I thought Brian Ralston de ...
34boliver1We really need to get a Canadian president for the ...
35sn0manNHL is starting to look more like the NRL (Nationa ...
36fergie_26At least the game was better than the Youngstar ga ...
37Ninnyi'm sorry but hockey is not that exciting when no ...
38habsfanbillBig Deal Briere gets a goal and 4 assists in a pon ...
39goaliesaresexyWell, the game was good -- fast and lots of talent ...
40teddy_34What is it with everyone coming here just to bag h ...
41luckylouis11Shoot the puck!! Wow it seems like the allstars f ...
42every1likeswingsWhat is everyone expecting from an All-Star game? ...
43ZooTV44Horrible excuse for a game. Just about as bad the ...
445_HOLEKudos to Briere, Chara, Sakic, Nash, Havlat, Rolst ...
45thedude94For all the whiners, why do you even bother postin ...
46rickf1How can Crosby say guys competed hard? There were ...
47jpf24I couldn't even stomach watching this game past th ...
48ScottyO79Way to go Danny! So all you know it all Canadian ...
495_HOLETo think that Briere actually got traded for Chris ...
50greekgodzoficeBriere has always been a great player. He should ...
51HockeyXpert24They really should start putting something on the ...
52habsguy45It's an ALLSTAR game for hockey players, the same ...
53markburgess100Don't be disappointed with "Sid the kid". Like all ...
54StreakgirlI really wish you lovely Canadians would stop with ...
55koops77Not only do the players not want to get injured, b ...
56rmassacreThere are many problems with the all-star game. Th ...
57wapiti24one of the best parts of the game was the commenta ...
58jpf24I don't expect fights, or big hits in the all star ...
59Zerocool6687Id just like to thank both Ovechkin and Shanny for ...
60s0m3oNeSeriously guys, when was the last time you remembe ...
61marclacelleDISGRACE!!! This game is a total sham!!! They sh ...
62marktheshark05Award the winning conference home ice advantage in ...
63Leafs67andwingedwheelsMiddle of the week was a complete flop, as most of ...
64mdanylukWhy all the criticism??? Unless you don't pay any ...
65kollectorYES The Kollector has complained about the way thi ...
66henrythe8thI'm amazed by the number of people posting here wh ...
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