by PuckStopsHere on 01/12/12 at 06:27 PM ET
The NHL announced their All Star Game lineups today. They can be found here. Earlier I posted my picks for the game. The biggest difference between my picks and the NHL picks is that I have at least one player per team involved in the game. The NHL has 12 rookies who will take part in the skills competition only and some of these rookies are the lone representatives for their respective teams. Five teams will have no All Star Game representation. They are Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Edmonton and New Jersey. This frees five roster spots on my team that I had given to Jeff Skinner, Ryan O’Reilly, Fedor Tyutin, Ryan Smyth and Patrik Elias. The only representation for their respective teams are rookies Justin Faulk, Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan Johansen, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and both Adam Henrique and Adam Larsson of New Jersey. These teams are short changed in the All Star Game. Edmonton is shortchanged the most as it is doubtful that Nugent-Hopkins will be healthy by gametime.
Their five extra roster spots can be viewed as having been given to Tyler Seguin of Boston, Marian Gaborik of the New York Rangers, Patrick Kane of Chicago, Pavel Datsyuk of Detroit and Kimmo Timonen of Philadelphia. This still leaves eight discrepancies between the players I picked and the NHL players.
In goal, Carey Price was given a roster spot as the Montreal representative. Price is not having as good a season as Mike Smith of Phoenix who I selected as my final goalie. Price however is a more famous player. Phoenix needs a representative with Smith gone, so Keith Yandle was added to the defence. He can be seen as taking away a roster spot from Duncan Keith, who is a better player having a better season. Dennis Wideman is on the roster. He is posting good numbers this year, but is hardly as good an all around player as Nicklas Lidstrom, who got omitted. The New York Rangers defensive representative is Dan Girardi, who is having a good season, perhaps he is a better selection than Michael Del Zotto who I picked, but I thought Del Zotto’s game would better fit in an offensive All Star Game.
On forward, Erik Cole is not needed as a Montreal representative since they have Carey Price. In his place is Marian Hossa. Hossa is having a very good season. Anaheim’s representative is Corey Perry, selected presumably because he is the reigning MVP, despite the fact Teemu Selanne is outplaying him. Washington’s forward representative is Alexander Ovechkin. He may be more of a star, but he is clearly being outplayed by teammate Nicklas Backstrom. San Jose’s representative is Logan Couture. I selected Joe Thornton. I think he is outplaying Couture, but was not selected.
I wonder if some talented NHL veterans in Lidstrom, Selanne and Thornton made it known that they wanted the All Star break off and hence were not selected. Their omissions are hard to explain otherwise. In the end, the All Star Game is a spectacle and its quality is not too strongly dependent upon the players in the game. I think some teams are shortchanged by only having rookies who will not participate in the actual game. The most notable omission from the roster is Nicklas Lidstrom.
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