With just over two weeks to play in the 2010-2011 NHL regular season, I thought it might be a good time to have a look at the players who have performed at the highest level thus far.
The All-NHL team consists of four lines, three defensive pairings, two goaltenders, as well as one reserve player from each category.
Just thinking about a team like this gives me goosebumps. There is so much talent through and through.
It says a lot about a team when some players who were omitted from the lineup would be great players to build an NHL franchise around!
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(40 goals, 56 assists, 96 points, plus 27)
The NHL's top point scorer is probably a good person to start with.
Daniel Sedin hit the 40-goal mark for the first time in his career. He's a strong candidate, if not the favorite, for the Hart Trophy, given to the league's most valuable player.
There's just one catch: Daniel Sedin will play with just one centerman.
It's a good thing that player is the defending Hart Trophy winner.
(19 goals, 70 assists, 89 points, plus 23)
Henrik Sedin, captain of the Vancouver Canucks, leads the NHL with 70 assists, nine more than his closest competition. He is a savvy playmaker who can always find his brother Daniel.
Did I mention that he has the second-most points in the league?
The brothers make up two-thirds of the first line in Vancouver. I'd say that their line would have to be tops in the league as well.
(44 goals, 41 assists, 85 points, plus five)
A perfect complement to the Canucks speed and finesse is a rugged net presence. At 6'3" and 212 pounds, Corey Perry is just that.
Perry is probably the best power forward in the game today. His 44 goals are the most in the NHL, smashing his previous season high of 32.
Never one to be scared of dropping the gloves, Perry would give the first line an edge that could not be reckoned with.
(29 goals, 48 assists, 77 points, plus 22)
Even if he's had a disappointing season, would you not want Alex Ovechkin on your All-NHL team?
Although his 77 points are below average, they still give him the sixth most in the league.
His 225 hits and plus-22 rating are also pretty impressive.
(43 goals, 43 assists, 86 points, plus one)
Steven Stamkos is up to his old tricks.
The 21-year-old phenom is at it once again, scoring 43 goals thus far this season. Though he is currently trailing Corey Perry by one goal for the league lead, the race for the Maurice Richard Trophy given to the top goal scorer should be interesting as the regular season winds down.
I know that this question has been asked before, but what's going to happen when Stamkos hits his prime? He is already nearly unstoppable, and I shudder when I think of the damage that he is going to do.
(27 goals, 62 assists, 89 points, minus four)
Martin St Louis has the second-most assists in the league and is tied with Henrik Sedin for the second-most amount of points.
He and Steven Stamkos are very close to the top when ranking the best tandems in the NHL.
It's mind-boggling that an undrafted little guy like St. Louis has made such an impact, year after year.
At 35 years old, he doesn't seem to be slowing down.
(22 goals, 53 assists, 75 points, minus one)
When Pavel Datsyuk went down to injury, Henrik Zetterberg was forced to step up in a big way.
He has not disappointed.
Zetterberg has reached a career-high in assists with 52 and his 73 points make him one of the league's top 10 scorers.
(30 goals, 44 assists, 74 points, plus 24)
Jonathan Toews does it all for the Chicago Blackhawks.
He plays on the power play, on the penalty kill, and at even strength, and he plays them all extremely well.
Toews, the youngest captain to lead his team to a Stanley Cup victory, reached the 30-goal mark for the second time in his four-year career this season.
He will certainly be on the Hart Trophy shortlist.
(36 goals, 39 assists, 75 points, minus five)
Jarome Iginla, the captain of the Calgary Flames, has done his best to carry his team to a playoff position after a poor start to the season. Although it looks as if he may fall short, his stellar numbers are symbolic of his drive for success.
Iginla reached the 30-goal mark for the 10th consecutive time this season, showing the hockey world that he still has a lot of game left in him.
(30 goals, 28 assists, 58 points, plus 28)
Milan Lucic is having what you could call a breakout season.
After a high-ankle sprain kicked off a disappointing campaign last year, the hulking forward has come back with a vengeance, scoring 30 goals for the first time in his career.
Couple his 58 points with a ludicrous plus/minus rating of plus 28 and you've got yourself quite the power forward.
(36 goals, 32 assists, 68 points, plus 23)
Ryan Kesler is the odds-on favorite to win the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded to the league's best two-way forward.
He has scored 36 goals thus far—10 more than his previous career-high of 26.
If this year is any indication of his game progressing, Canucks fans should be more than pleased that Kesler is signed through the 2015-2016 season.
(24 goals, 44 assists, 68 points, plus 15)
Speaking of breakout seasons...
Claude Giroux carried his fantastic play from the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs into the 2010-2011 regular season.
He currently leads the first-place Philadelphia Flyers in both assists (44) and points (68).
(32 goals, 34 assists, 66 points, plus 20)
Was there ever any doubt that Sidney Crosby would be on the All-NHL list despite his injury?
Although he hasn't played a game since early January, Sid's 32 goals are the ninth most of any player in the NHL.
Had he not gotten injured, Crosby could have very well reached a career high in goals and points.
(14 goals, 45 assists, 59 points, minus one)
What can you say about the 40-year-old Nick Lidstrom?
He has put up some fantastic numbers in this, his 19th season, with no signs of wearing down.
He is a certain candidate for the Norris trophy, given to the league's best defenseman. If the Wings' captain wins the award for a seventh time, it would surely be well-deserved.
(13 goals, 29 assists, 42 points, plus 28)
Zdeno Chara is the largest player in the NHL. His size makes him nearly impossible to play against.
He's posted some great offensive numbers and he continues to be one of the Boston Bruins' most prized possessions.
Despite the controversy that Chara has been embroiled in this season, he deserves to be on the top pairing on the All-NHL team.
(11 goals, 47 assists, 58 points, plus 11)
Keith Yandle was expected to break out this season, and he did not disappoint.
The young American leads all defensemen with 47 assists and he continues to improve.
At only 24 years old, he'll be in the Norris mix for many years to come.
(16 goals, 30 assists, 46 points, plus 13)
Shea Weber is a stud—plain and simple.
He has a blistering slap shot, he makes a great first pass and he is a rock defensively.
Weber is an invaluable asset and a restricted free agent at the end of the season. The Predators will try to come to terms with him at all costs.
(15 goals, 46 assists, 61 points, plus 16)
After three injury-riddled seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, Lubomir Visnovsky has been able to stay healthy in his first season as an Anaheim Duck.
The Ducks are reaping the rewards.
The 34-year-old Slovak is in fine form, leading all NHL defensemen in points.
(19 goals, 33 assists, 52 points, minus three)
Dustin Byfuglien has to be happy that his coach in Atlanta agreed to let him play his natural position.
"Big Buff" plays the point on the power play and he is never afraid to let his cannon of a shot rip, taking 323 this season, trailing league-leader Alex Ovechkin by just nine.
He leads all NHL defensemen with 19 goals.
(12 goals, 36 assists, 48 points, plus 15)
Since the Vancouver Canucks lost Alex Edler to injury, Christian Ehrhoff has been given the task of being the No.1 defenseman on the top team in the NHL.
Ehrhoff has been exceptional.
He has led the team in ice time and been the foundation of the Canucks' top-rated power play.
(32-10-8, .939 save percentage, 2.00 goals-against average, 8 shutouts)
You can't play goalie much better than Tim Thomas has this season.
The Bruins' netminder leads all goalies in save percentage and goals-against average. His eight shutouts tie him with Carey Price for second most in the NHL.
Thomas is back in Vezina form after an off-year last season.
(30-20-8, .929 save percentage, 2.10 goals-against average, 6 shutouts)
Pekka Rinne has been the difference in the Nashville Predators' hunt for a playoff spot. On a team with no superstars (save for Shea Weber), the large Finn has been outstanding and carried the Preds to sixth place in the Western Conference.
He trails only Tim Thomas in save percentage and goals-against average.
Rinne will undoubtedly be on the Vezina Trophy shortlist.
(33-24-5, .924 save percentage, 2.24 goals-against average, 11 shutouts)
Henrik Lundqvist has already posted 11 shutouts this season. Though it's obviously an impressive statistic as it is, who's to say that he's done?
It would be irresponsible to leave Lundqvist out as a Vezina Trophy finalist.