As promised, my faithful readers, here are this year’s All-Star selections for the Western Conference. Like the Washington Capitals in the East, the San Jose Sharks grabbed the most spots in the West.
As much as I hate the Olympics for making this season’s scheduling a veritable nightmare and taking away All-Star weekend, I’m beginning to get in the Olympic spirit. I know I should be chanting, “USA! USA!” but I’m a realist. Canada is going to win the gold…easily.
Feel free to rant about the “completely fictional” All-Star snubs and tell me who you would have picked instead.
Henrik Sedin: Henrik leads the NHL in points. Did you know that Henrik and his brother Daniel are only separated by two shots this season? They really are identical to the fullest sense of the word.
Daniel Sedin: Where there’s one Sedin, the other is always close behind.
Patrick Kane: The 21-year-old is putting up the best numbers of his young career and has the Chicago Blackhawks near the top of the NHL.
Dany Heatley: Heatley is tied for the league-lead in game-winning goals. Oh, and get used to seeing a few more Sharks on the team.
Joe Thornton: Speaking of other Sharks making the team. Thornton leads the league with 54 assists—not to mention San Jose is currently atop the NHL.
Brad Richards: Richards has produced all season long and is keeping the Dallas Stars in the playoff race.
Anze Kopitar: He has definitely cooled down after a very hot start, but let’s be honest. Where would the Los Angeles Kings be without him?
Paul Stastny: Aren’t the young Colorado Avalanche fun to watch? Stastny is the offensive backbone of this surprise contender.
Ryan Getzlaf: His totals are down a little from last year, but everything seems to be down a little this year in Anaheim.
Corey Perry: A physical brute and a scoring machine—Perry truly is the best of both worlds.
Rick Nash: His plus/minus totals are a little skewed due to the lack of goaltending, but his point totals are on par.
Patrick Marleau: I told you there were going to be a few more Sharks on the team. It’s not like it’s undeserving—he leads the league in goals.
Dan Boyle: Another Shark…I know, I know.
Drew Doughty: It is amazing how much this kid has improved from last season. There is a Norris Trophy in his future.
Duncan Keith: There is a Norris Trophy in his future as well…probably at the end of this season.
Stephane Robidas: Forget the point totals for a second. Robidas blocks shots and hits better than just about any d-man in the league.
Shea Weber: There is no keeping that monster shot off of my All-Star team.
Nicklas Lidstrom: His point totals are a little down, so what? He’s 39 years old. Not everybody can keep their numbers up when they get old (Brodeur is the lone exception to this concept).
Christian Ehrhoff: He leads all defenseman in the most important defensive category with a plus-26 rating.
Craig Anderson: A serious Vezina Trophy contender in my mind and the biggest reason for the resurgence in Colorado.
Evgeni Nabokov: Like Ryan Miller, Nabokov is near the top of every statistical category…and he’s a Shark.
Ilya Bryzgalov: It was between Bryzgalov or Luongo for the last spot on the team—so I went with who has a worse team playing in front of him. Bryzgalov won by a blocker-length.
Just like the Eastern Conference, there were definitely some snubs in the West who should be acknowledged:
Jarome Iginla, Alex Burrows, Mikko Koivu, Jonathan Toews, Loui Eriksson, Lubomir Visnovsky, Brian Campbell, Ed Jovanovski, Marek Zidlicky, Roberto Luongo, and Miikka Kiprusoff.