St. Louis Blues: 5 Players Who Were Snubbed from the All-Star Game
I am extremely happy for Elliott—it is gratifying to know that his spectacular play has been rewarded. But, I am displeased that he was the only pick from the team.
The snubbing isn’t much of a surprise though, considering the Blues boast some of the most underrated and unnoticed players in the league.
The NHL needs to finally start acknowledging and publicizing the talented players in the Blues organization, especially now that they are legitimate contenders for the Cup.
The compiling of the All-Star game roster was a prime opportunity for the league to start ushering some of the teams’ high-caliber players into the public eye. But unfortunately, the NHL dropped the ball on that one, and Elliott was named the Blues’ only representative.
Here are five additional Blues' players who could have easily been named to the All-Star game.
5. Alex Steen
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Steen has 13 goals and 24 points in 36 games this year—not overly spectacular offensive numbers, but it is his play when the puck is in the opposition’s possession that should earn him an All-Star game selection.
He is one of the most unheralded two-way forwards in the NHL, and should be in the discussion for the Selke Trophy, year-in and year-out.
His plus-20 rating ranks first on the team and 12th in the league, and his defensive effectiveness is a key reason why the Blues are one of the best teams in the league in that aspect.
Steen has been a top-tier player on the Blues for the past three years, and it is about time that he was rewarded for his excellence.
4. T.J. Oshie
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Oshie is a dynamic and high-energy forward who exhibits skill in all areas of the game. He is one of the most explosive hitters in the league and also one of the hardest players to knock off the puck.
He ranks second in scoring on the Blues and his giveaway/takeaway ratio is one of the highest in the NHL (nine giveaways, 37 takeaways).
For an event that focuses on puck control and dynamic scoring, Oshie fits that mold perfectly and should have received All-Star consideration this year.
3. Kevin Shattenkirk
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Shattenkirk is only in his sophomore season, but he has already established himself as one of the best two-way defensemen in the NHL.
He’s posted excellent numbers in all offensive and defensive categories this season—especially in goals and plus/minus ratings. He has more goals than five of the defensemen selected for the All-Star game, and a better plus/minus rating than everyone but Chara.
The 22-year-old is playing at a level far beyond what his experience would suggest and it should have solidified him an All-Star game appearance.
2. David Backes
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Backes is a player who simply does everything for his team and does not have an Achilles’ heel (well, maybe faceoffs).
He is the backbone of a Blues team finally finding success: He is their captain, leading scorer, leading hitter, plays the most minutes out of all forwards and matches up against the best players in the league on a nightly basis.
He played in the All-Star game last year, so he has received some publicity for the way he dominates a game, but not enough as far as I’m concerned. I was hoping to see his name on the roster again this year.
Backes is the most complete forward in the NHL and should be an All-Star game regular.
1. Alex Pietrangelo
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Pietrangelo is the best 21-year-old defenseman in the NHL right now—not even Erik Karlsson with his 43 points can compete with Pietrangelo’s all-around game.
He plays as if he has been in the league for 10 years instead of one. His puck control is second to none, his end-to-end rushes are reminiscent of a bigger Paul Coffey, he possesses a high-level hockey I.Q. and he makes very few errors in judgement.
His ability to play solid defensively while taking only a minuscule amount of penalties is also astounding.
He almost single-handedly runs the offense for the club and plays like a rover regularly, yet he rarely ever causes odd-man rushes, which leaves other rushing defensemen like Mike Green, Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson scratching their heads in amazement.
He is the best defenseman on the best defensive team in the NHL.
Doesn’t any of this account for anything?
The fact that Pietrangelo was not included on the All-Star game roster is a travesty and shows just how blind to the organization the NHL is.
Watch Pietrangelo dominate a game and tell me he doesn’t belong in the All-Star game over guys like Byfuglien, Phaneuf, Girardi or Yandle.
It’s just upsetting.