The voting for the 2010-2011 NHL All-Star Game has come to a close. The fans have spoken. The top six vote getters all get into the game automatically. Those six were Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Toews, Kris Letang, Duncan Keith and Marc-Andre Fleury.
So, basically, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks are joining forces. I can't stand all-star games, but the NHL one is of the better ones. I do like the skills competition, but the game is usually a letdown. By the votes, it sure shows you who the most popular players in the league are right now.
Crosby was the runaway vote getter, receiving over 650,000 votes and over 200,000 more votes than the next top vote getter. Not that it should be a surprise to anyone.
Crosby is having the best season of his career, as he leads the league in goals, faceoffs won, points and plus-minus among forwards. Crosby also had a ridiculous 25-game scoring streak that was like an assault on the league.
I'm sure a lot of people are going to complain about Fleury being in the game. Fleury got off to an awful start in the beginning season, but has since been a stellar goalie.
Right now, Fleury is sixth in G.A.A., tied for seventh in wins and is 12th among starters in save percentage.
Which of the four Pens named to the All-Star game was least deserving?
So, I think he deserves to be in there; I just don't think he's the most deserving goaltender. You have to look at the Montreal Canadiens' Carey Price and the Boston Bruins' Tim Thomas, both of whom are having great seasons.
I also think Fleury deserves it more than Evgeni Malkin. Malkin also got off to a slow start and is tied for just 35th in the NHL points. I like Geno a lot, but I'm not even sure if he belongs in the game at all this year, let alone as a starter.
I can't believe the Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos isn't a starter. Stamkos was off to a really hot start and was leading the league in goals and points, until Crosby went on his inhuman 25-game point streak.
Stamkos's teammate Martin St. Louis is also well-deserving of a nod, as are the Sedin twins from the Vancouver Canucks. Both Henrik and Daniel Sedin are in the top five in the league in points. With hockey crazy Vancouver, I was sure that at least one of them would get in.
I am overwhelmed with joy that Kris Letang got voted into his first career All-Star game. Not only is he in, he's going to be a starter.
Letang's game is becoming something special, especially in the offensive zone. Letang is currently fourth in points by defensemen and is on the radar for being nominated for the Norris Trophy at this point.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Letang getting voted in to the game is that he wasn't even on the ballot. You literally needed to write his name in to vote for him.
I'm sure Pens' fans are especially happy today that their team will be well represented in the All-Star game.