After the first week of voting for the 2012 NHL All-Star game in Ottawa, I decided to take a quick look at the players in the lead. As I was reading the list, I came across a name that didn't seem to fit in with the others, so I did some research and looked at some of the league leaders so far.
I quickly realized that yet again, this All-Star game was going to be a popularity contest yet again. Names like Jaromir Jagr, Ryan Kesler and Daniel Alfredsson are somehow on the top 25 list.
Alfredsson and Kesler both have eight points this season and Jagr is 40th in points (17) and 66th in goals (6) in the league yet is No. 7 in votes among forwards. The fans turn this into a popularity contest like a High School Class President race every year. I say let the players and owners and NHL analysts vote for the All-Star game, it will award the players who most deserve to be playing in the game.
Anyway, here is my three forwards, two defense-men and goalie who should be atop the leaders in fan balloting.
*Stats are as of 12:00pm on November 22, 2011.
Fleischmann is tied for third in points among all active Left Wingers with 20 points. He has accumulated nine goals and 11 assists all while being an unreal +14. He has seven points on the power play and averaging a point a game on the season. Fleischmann's numbers and play is better than the top vote getting LW right now, Alex Ovechkin.
The fact that Fleischmann isn't even on the top 28 in forwards is beyond me. Florida is top in the Southeast division due mostly to the resurgence of Fleischmann.
Tyler Seguin...this should be a reason in itself. But for the article's sake, ill make my case.
Seguin is again, tied for third in the NHL among centers with 21 points. He has 11 goals and 10 assists while raking in a plus/minus of +17. He has four points on the power play and is averaging 1.11 points per game. The Bruins are now running the tables in the NHL, winning nine games in a row.
During this streak, Seguin has 10 points with seven goals, three assists, is +10 and three of his seven goals are game winners. I think its safe to say Seguin has been one of the best players in the league. He has been a huge reason why the Bruins have come back and won nine in a row.
This is the reason why the Panthers have shocked everyone and are leading their division after a quarter of the season. The play of Kris Versteeg has also contributed to the Panther's' success so far this season. His 11 goals and 14 assists are good for 25 points, which makes him tied for third amongst right wingers and fifth in the league.
He is a +12 with nine of his points coming on the power play an averaging 1.25 points per game. Versteeg and his line-mate, Tomas Fleischmann, are a mighty duo that will only get better. Watch out for these two.
Bergeron has emerged as a No. 1 defense-man who not only get on the score sheet, but also helps prevent them as well.
He has three goals, 14 assists and 17 points, which is good for second amongst defense-men. He is also towards the top in blocked shots as well. He has six points on the power play and is a +5 on the season.
Bergeron is yet another star on the lighting team that seems to have a plethora of talent, but cant seem to find his groove.
Ryan Suter is in my mind, one of the best, yet underrated, defense-men in the league. He puts points up on the score sheet but also does his part in playing defense as well.
He has four goals and 10 assists for 14 points. He is also a +14 with six power play points and two shorthanded points. His +14 and two shorthanded points are amongst the top defense-men. Suter and his teammate Shea Weber are two of the best defense-men in the league and he deserves to be in the All-Star game.
Mike Smith is the new No. 1 goalie for the Phoenix Coyotes and deservedly so. He has a 9-3-3 record with a 2.16 GAA, .936 SV% and one SO. He is my fantasy goalie and my whole team has turned around with him as my goalie and so have the Coyotes. He will only get better and I believe that he is underrated as a goalie.
Expect great things from Mike Smith, but unfortunately, due to the fan balloting, don't expect to see him on the ice in Ottawa.