Brent Burns took away a lot from his first All-Star Game, but the biggest might have been soaking in Detroit Red Wings future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom. Lidstrom selected Burns in the All-Star Game draft. "He's the best [defenseman] in my lifetime," Burns said. "Just to watch the way he is, in the room, how he prepares for the game, really, it's the same for him in the All-Star Game than a real game. "He's just so calm with the puck, every pass is perfect, he never makes any mistakes, he's always in the right spot. I mean, he was plus-7. That just says it all." Burns had one assist and Martin Havlat three in a Team Lidstrom 11-10 victory, and the funniest moment came when Burns, who was "Mic'd Up" for Versus, chirped Havlat for ruining Carolina Hurricanes' 18-year-old hero Jeff Skinner's breakaway. "Marty was flying. I said, 'I never saw you backcheck like that in Minnesota,'" Burns said. "I mean he came out of nowhere, like he was propelled. We were dying on the bench." Burns said it was weird how hard the All-Stars played Skinner, who's "like Justin Bieber with the fans in Carolina. ... When [Rick] Nash and [Cory] Perry got breakaways, you let them go." Havlat said even during the backcheck, he wondered what the protocol should be, but he did what came natural. It wasn't an easy game for Burns. He basically played the role of pylon in the defensive zone. "You've got a lot of highly skilled guys, but there's no hitting, you don't really want to poke-check guys," Burns said. "You kind of feel useless out there. You just skate around." Burns said the biggest thrill was skating on the ice afterward with his baby daughter, Peyton, and sharing time with his dad, Robert. "He was a goalie, so he picked up [Anaheim goalie Jonas] Hiller's pads," Burns said, laughing. "I'm like, 'Dad, you can't touch a goalie's pads, what are you doing? You pick up [Niklas Backstrom's] pads, he might throw you off a bridge.' Luckily Hiller was pretty relaxed. But I had to tell my dad to settle down a little bit." Burns said he's not jealous he didn't have time off. "It was as close to a vacation as you can get. I wasn't getting any bruises in that game," he quipped.
No hits, but still lots of All-Star fun
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Feb 2