With fan-voted starters Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur pulling out of the All-Star Games, Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings and Rick DiPietro of the New York Islanders will be the starters for the game Sunday night.
“I’m so excited, I feel like a little kid again,” DiPietro said.
Anaheim Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger was in fine form for the all-star media availability Saturday morning, basically turning the session into a stand-up comedy routine.
* On Sidney Crosby missing the game because of an injury: “I think Crosby should be here. That’s bullsh--.”
* On the possibility of Ducks GM Brian Burke leaving the team to become president-GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs: “He’s not gone yet? I thought he already had a five-year deal done with Toronto. I don’t know what goes on in the mind of Brian Burke.”
* On the prospect of Teemu Selanne returning to the Ducks: “Who’s he?”
* On young teammates Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, who were late for their media availability, playing in the game: “Yeah, I told them to show up on time. Looks like they’re 0-for-1 on that one.”
FIVE FAB RUSSIANS
The Eastern Conference team for the All-Star Game has Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk at forward and Sergei Gonchar and Andrei Markov on defense, giving coach John Paddock the opportunity to form a “Russian Five.”
The only problem is that both Ovechkin and Kovalchuk are left wingers, pretty decent ones at that.
“That’s OK, I can move to the right side,” Ovechkin said.
THAT’S WHY PENCILS HAVE ERASERS
Scott Gomez said he’s happy the league will return to the pre-lockout schedule next season and said the unbalanced schedule turned out to be a mistake.
“I think it kind of backfired on the league,” Gomez said. “It used to be a Devils-Rangers game was a hot ticket, but once when I was with the Devils, I offered tickets to my neighbors who said, ‘That’s OK, we’ll just catch it next week.’ ”