East vs. West, 3 p.m.
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The mid-season showcase is back in Minnesota for the first time since 1972, when the North
The 2004 contest marks the second since the league went back to the traditional East-West format, as opposed to the North America-World theme that was used for five years. Last year in Florida, the Western Conference edged the East, 6-5, courtesy of a thrilling shootout.
Starting in goal for the Eastern Conference will be reigning Vezina Trophy winner
Brodeur will have a pair of teammates protecting him to open the match, as
Up front, the East is anchored by Boston
For the West, The Dallas
On the backline for the West will be a pair of mainstays -- Detroit's
The head coach of the Eastern Conference will be the
For the West, coaching will be Detroit's Dave Lewis, assisted by the
KEEN AN EYE ON
-Mark Messier - The 43-year-old legend will become the fifth player in NHl history to appear in 15 All-Star Games. He'll join Gordie Howe (23 appearances), Ray Bourque (19), Wayne Gretzky (18) and Frank Mahovlich (15) in the exclusive club. Messier is tied with Bourque for the most career All-Star Game assists (13) and ranks fourth in points (18), trailing Gretzky (25),
-Rick Nash - The 2002 No. 1 overall pick's status for the game was up in the air due to a bruised left foot, but he is expected to play. Nash has blossomed in his sophomore season and is the NHL goal-scoring leader at the break with 31. He will be the first teenager to play in the mid-season showcase since
-Markus Naslund - The Swedish star, who will serve as the West's captain, continues to be the flash of one of the best lines in hockey, and is on pace for his fourth consecutive 40-goal season. At the moment he tops the NHL with 67 points (30g, 37a).
-Kovalchuk - Granted it was a 4-on-4 format, but Kovalchuk tallied six goals in the YoungStars game during his rookie campaign in 2002. Last year,
-Vokoun - In his first full season as a starter, Vokoun has appeared in 48 of Nashville's 54 games, and has the
-Roberto Luongo - The
In addition to Stevens, Ottawa's