Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/14/11 at 05:44 PM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
For this year’s game, to be played two weekends from now in Raleigh, N.C., the NHL elected to choose players from 26 teams, bypassing the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes. The first three, you could understand. All have struggled this year, none have players that immediately jump out at you as a team that absolutely, positively needed an all-star representative.
But omitting players from Phoenix’s roster just seemed odd and unfair. The Coyotes were one of the top regular-season teams in the league last year and they were holding down the No. 4 ranking in the Western Conference again following Thursday night’s action. The Coyotes don’t usually score a lot, which is why the fact that a defenceman - Keith Yandle - leads them in scoring is noteworthy. Yandle, who had a three-point night vs. the Leafs Thursday, is a young American that drew some notice for his good play during the Coyotes’ unexpected surge to respectability last season. He was even better in the playoffs against the Detroit Red Wings, but has taken his game to another level this year. Overall, he is sixth among NHL defencemen in scoring and tied for fourth in assists, as many of his peers predicted he might.
more plus a look at Colby Armstrong…
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