Would Be NHL All-Star Team for the Western Conference
Ryan Getzlaf, F, Anaheim Ducks
Ryan Getzlaf is back on top of his game this season and it certainly has helped the Anaheim Ducks get back on top of the Pacific Division.
Getzlaf has 10 goals and 31 points in 24 games this season which puts him first in the Western Conference in scoring. He has also been a standout on the Ducks' special teams.
Last week, the native of Regina, Saskatchewan, signed a new eight-year contract extension worth a reported $66 million.
Patrick Kane, F, Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks have been the biggest story of the first half of this NHL season and the improved play of Patrick Kane is one of the biggest reasons for Chicago's impressive 21-0-3 start.
Kane won the Calder Trophy in 2007-08 and had his best season in 2009-10, the year Chicago won the Stanley Cup. Since then, Kane's numbers have been in decline and critics have questioned his maturity off the ice.
This year, it seems the 24-year-old rededicated himself to being the best player he can be and the results have been noticeable on the ice.
In 26 games, Kane has 14 goals and 30 points with six of his goals and 10 of his points coming on the power play.
He is once again a player opponents always have to account for every time he is on the ice.
Henrik Zetterberg, F, Detroit Red Wings
When Nicklas Lidstrom retired, the Red Wings called on Henrik Zetterberg to take over as captain of the club.
Zetterberg has played well this season, setting up 21 goals and totaling 27 points in 26 games. Twelve of Zetterberg's points have come on the power play and two of his six goals have been game winners.
The return to a point-per-game production is important for the veteran Swedish forward. The fact that he's accomplished that while adding additional leadership responsibilities further helps build his case as a member of this Western Conference team.
Matt Duchene, F, Colorado Avalanche
Matt Duchene struggled through an injury-shortened campaign last season, scoring just 28 points in 58 games.
This year, Duchene has found the scoring touch scouts predicted for him when he was selected third overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
In 23 games, the Haliburton, Ontario, native has scored 11 goals and 26 points, which places him fourth among Western Conference scorers.
He had a goal and three assists in the Avs' big win over Chicago that ended the Blackhawks' historic unbeaten streak.
Joe Thornton, F, San Jose Sharks
Joe Thornton continues to be a productive hockey player at 33.
In 24 games this season with the Sharks, "Jumbo Joe" has five goals and 24 points.
Thornton continues to shine on the power play, with more than half of his points (13) coming when the Sharks had the extra man.
Thornton remains a key cog in the Sharks' attack. He started the season off on fire, scoring three goals and adding 11 helpers in the first six games of the new campaign.
Pavel Datsyuk, F, Detroit Red Wings
Pavel Datsyuk has resumed playing his usual well-rounded game for Detroit this season.
In 25 games, the talented Russian has eight goals and 25 points. As always, Datsyuk has contributed both on the power play (four goals and seven points) and on the penalty kill. He also has a plus/minus rating of plus-nine and is among the leaders in faceoff percentage with a .582.
Datsyuk remains a key cog in the Red Wings' attack and one of the team's leaders on and off the ice.
Jaromir Jagr, F, Dallas Stars
At 41, Jaromir Jagr still has his scoring touch. In his first season with the Stars, the veteran Czech native continues to be an offensive force, scoring 10 goals and 18 points in 23 games.
Jagr has been red-hot as of late, scoring five goals in his last four games.
He has also been a great role model for young Stars forwards like Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson.
Sam Gagner, F, Edmonton Oilers
Sam Gagner had a record-setting game last February (four goals and four assists), but had an uneven season.
While he hasn't duplicated the eight-point explosion of last year, Gagner has become a reliable and consistent point producer this season for the Oilers.
In 25 games, the London, Ontario, native has nine goals and 23 points which leads the Oilers and is good enough to earn him Edmonton's spot on this team.
Anze Kopitar, F, Los Angeles Kings
After a slow start, Anze Kopitar has resumed the scoring pace that helped him lead the Kings to their first Stanley Cup title last spring.
He now has 19 points in his last 17 games, with half of his assists coming on the power play, and is also a plus-10 for the season.
Kopitar remains the Kings' most consistent offensive threat and, at 25, should be just entering the prime of his career.
Henrik Sedin, F, Vancouver Canucks
The Sedin Twins remain two of the best players in the game today.
Henrik, the setup man, has six goals and 24 points in 24 games and is also a plus-14 for the season.
The super Swede is one of the best passers in the game and has a unique feel for the way his brother plays. That makes the Sedins one of the most dangerous duos in the NHL today.
Daniel Sedin, F, Vancouver Canucks
You can't have Henrik on a team without Daniel.
The goal scoring part of the Canucks' Swedish twins has eight tallies so far this year and 23 points in 24 games.
Daniel's best effort this season was a one-goal, two-assist performance against the Chicago Blackhawks on February 19.
Jeff Carter, F, Los Angeles Kings
Jeff Carter has come to life this season in Los Angeles. His 17 goals lead all Western Conference scorers and have him tied for second overall in the league behind only Steven Stamkos.
Carter has been remarkably clutch this season and already has six game-winning goals to lead the league.
Last season, Carter finished with 21 goals in 55 games. He has nearly matched that total in 23 contests so far this season.
Kevin Shattenkirk, D, St. Louis Blues
The Blues' Kevin Shattenkirk leads all Western Conference defensemen with 19 points in 25 games.
At 24, the former Boston University star has become one of the top defensemen in the game. He has become one of the key cogs on the St. Louis power play with nearly half of this points coming with the man advantage.
The Greenwich, Connecticut, native opened the season with eight assists in his first six games.
Niklas Kronwall, D, Detroit Red Wings
Detroit's Niklas Kronwall has big skates to fill after the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom. Kronwall had to step up and assume the role of No. 1 defenseman which includes playing extra minutes and being on the ice in all key situations.
Thus far, the 32-year-old Swede has come through. He has three goals and 18 points in 25 games with nine of his points coming on the power play. Two of his three goals have been game winners.
Kronwall is presently second among Western Conference defensemen in scoring.
Ryan Suter, D, Minnesota Wild
Ryan Suter was one of the biggest free-agent signings of the summer. The former Nashville Predators blueliner signed with the Wild as a package deal along with his longtime friend Zach Parise.
Thus far, Suter has provided solid results, scoring 18 points in 24 games for the Wild with eight of his points coming on the power play.
Suter is playing major minutes in Minnesota and is providing the leadership the Wild expected when they signed him to a 13-year, $98 million contract last summer.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Phoenix Coyotes
Oliver-Ekman-Larsson gets overlooked by many hockey fans because he plays in Phoenix, a team that doesn't get a lot of media attention.
The talented young Swede has three goals and 17 points in 25 games thus far for the Coyotes. He also has a plus-seven plus/minus rating which helped earn him the Coyotes' spot on our roster.
Ekman-Larsson is only 21 years old and he should only continue to get better as he gains experience.
Dennis Wideman, D, Calgary Flames
While some people complained about the large contract Dennis Wideman received from the Flames after being acquired from Washington, thus far he has proven the Flames right.
Wideman has been a key cog on the Flames' power play with eight of his 12 points coming while Calgary had the man-advantage.
Wideman edged out Jarome Iginla for the Flames' spot because there was a glut of forwards in the Western Conference and a bigger need for defensemen.
Fedor Tyutin, D, Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets need a representative on our team and defenseman Fedor Tyutin is playing as well as anybody on the Columbus roster.
The former Ranger has 14 points in 26 games and is averaging 24:27 of ice time per game for Columbus.
At 29, the Russian also provides veteran leadership on a young and rebuilding Blue Jackets club.
Corey Crawford, G, Chicago Blackhawks
The play of goalie Corey Crawford is a major reason the Chicago Blackhawks did not lose in regulation over the first 24 games of this season.
Crawford has the best GAA in the Western Conference with 1.91 and an impressive .925 save percentage. He also has an 11-2-3 record so far.
Before the season started many experts questioned whether Crawford was good enough to get Chicago deep into the playoffs. His play in the first half of this season indicates that he is already good enough.
Viktor Fasth, G, Anaheim Ducks
At the beginning of this season, Viktor Fasth was an unknown, 30-year-old rookie from Sweden who was expected to play only a few games in relief of Jonas Hiller.
Now, halfway through the season, Fasth is one of the best goalies in the league statistically and has earned his way onto our Western Conference All-Star team.
In 13 games, Fasth is 10-1-1 with a 1.92 GAA and a .929 save percentage.
He has been a major reason Anaheim presently leads the Pacific Division after missing the postseason a year ago.
Pekke Rinne, G, Nashville Predators
Despite the fact that he's not having quite as strong a statistical season this year, goalie Pekke Rinne remains the best choice to represent the Nashville Predators on our All-Star team.
Rinne's record is only 9-8-5 but that is in part due to uneven goal scoring by the Preds this season. Rinne's other numbers remain strong. He has a GAA of just 2.09 and a save percentage of .920.
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