Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Jon Jordan on 01/30/11 at 09:27 PM ET
I’m beginning this short update in the second intermission, with Team Lidstrom leading Team Staal 7-6, in an All-Star game that looks pretty darn similar to every All-Star game I’ve ever seen. Some fans behind me have expressed disappointment at the lack of defense being played and the absence of body checks (no, seriously) but, format change and all, it is still exactly what we thought it’d be. And, though I’ve made my lack of excitement over All-Star games in any sport pretty clear over the last few weeks, being here in Raleigh for this one, taking in the entire experience, has created an appreciation for what the event is all about – celebrating the game, selling the product and rewarding the fans with a showcase of the league’s biggest stars.
The city of Raleigh itself has been fantastic and there is no doubt that these people are big time hockey fans. They were jacked for this weekend and can take pride in knowing that they did a first-class job as a host. Folks have been friendly, welcoming and overly polite. And the infamous Carolina tailgaters today, my new friends at Cole’s Knoll specifically, were as energetic as advertised and just beaming about their team, their city and this weekend’s happenings.
I’ll check in one last time tonight before shutting things down for the weekend, as we trek back to Tampa tomorrow.
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