By Amanda DiPaolo
Sunday afternoon’s All-Star Game will feature two teams, picked by captains, stacked with the best players in the League.
One team has the home crowd faithful behind them in full force. The crowd was so bias towards Team Staal during the skills competition that when Jonathan Toews, Team Lidstrom, beat Patrick Sharp in accuracy shooting, the crowed booed.
Staal has played in Carolina since he was 18 years old and has seen the city’s love affair with hockey grow since that time. “I think it’s grown a tremendous amount. I think starting from the grassroots, the Youth Hockey and all the way up, there’s starting to become a real strong base of support for this team and for hockey in general. And it’s been exciting for me to be a part of that and watch it grow, and it’s only going to get bigger.”
Cam Ward said the red carpet experience before Saturday’s skills competition showed the excitment around the city of Raleigh. “I heard about how excited Raleigh was about hosting the All-Star game, but, man, walking that red carpet, I didn’t expect it to be that big of a buzz. And it’s great to see that. I think you talk to families, you talk to kids, the Youth, Minor Hockey program has really continued to grow in the North Carolina area, and that’s great to see,” Ward said.
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