NHL All-Star Game 2012: 3 Early Favorites for Game MVP

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IJanuary 29, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 10:  Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins stretches before a game against the Ottawa Senators on January 10, 2012 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The NHL All-Star Game will take place on Sunday afternoon.

This All-Star Game will be a little bit lacking in terms of star power, with Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin sitting out for various reasons, but the players who are left will still make this game one that you must watch.

Plenty of firepower remains on the rosters and it will be interesting to see how Zdeno Chara and Daniel Alfredsson decide to select their teams.

No matter what team they end up on, here are three guys who could end up winning the game’s MVP award.


Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins 

Malkin has really stepped up his game this year in the absence of Sidney Crosby.

The Penguins are Malkin’s team right now and he’s made the most of it.

He’s currently leading the NHL in total points with 58. He’s been very balanced in doing so, scoring 26 times and dishing out 32 assists.

When he’s surrounded by talented all-stars, the sky is the limit for Malkin. A two- or three-point game isn’t out of the question.


Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins 

Thomas has picked up right where he left off after a strong season for the Bruins.

After leading his team to the Stanley Cup, Thomas is once again near the top of the league in most goalie stats.

If he gets most of the playing time for whatever team he ends up on and is on the ice at the end of the game, he could be in a position to stop a few key shots down the stretch.

If the All-Star Game is a low-scoring affair, it’s not out of the question that a goaltender could take home MVP honors.


Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning 

Stamkos has been a scoring machine for the Lightning this season.

He’s scored 32 goals, leading the NHL by a wide margin (The second place goal scorer has 27).

Stamkos is going to be a sparkplug for whichever captain decides to pick him.

He could end up with a hat trick if guys like Malkin keep feeding him the puck close to the net.