by Forechecker on 01/23/09 at 01:04 PM ET
Fan balloting for All-Star roster spots is always a hot topic, and this year’s controversy has probably been the most heated, between the dominance of the Montreal Canadiens in the starting lineup, and the absence of Alex Ovechkin or any of the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. The natural result of this has been a variety of calls to eliminate fan balloting or restrict it in some fashion.
Until that day comes, we can at least consider the selections as they would have been made by relatively neutral observers. For that, let’s take a look at Sports Illustrated’s choices for the All-Star starting lineups, as presented in the issue currently on newsstands…
A lineup with only one Canadien (four were voted in by fans) is matched with an unheralded goalie and his single-Wing offense.
G Tim Thomas, Bruins
D Zdeno Chara, Bruins
D Andrei Markov, Canadiens
C Evgeni Malkin, Penguins
LW Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals
RW Alexander Semin, Capitals
G Steve Mason, Blue Jackets
D Dan Boyle, Sharks
D Shea Weber, Predators
C Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings
LW Patrick Marleau, Sharks
RW Jarome Iginla, Flames
Frankly, these are much more compelling selections than what the fans came up with. For this listing as well as a feature story by Michael Farber about the dominating performances of the San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins during the first half of the season, feel free to pick up the latest issue or read the PDF on your computer. Special thanks to SI for making that PDF available to our readers!
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