by PuckStopsHere on 06/29/14 at 12:43 PM ET
The top scoring left winger in the 2013/14 NHL season did not get a single first place vote for the post season All Star Team. Taylor Hall led all the left wingers in the league with 80 points. Granted it was a close race. Jamie Benn and Joe Pavelski had 79 points each and Patrick Sharp had 78. Nevertheless, Hall was a distant fourth in the all star voting.
I argue that a significant reason for this is +/- ratings. Pavelski was +23, Benn +21, Sharp +13 and Hall -15. Of course the main reason for that is team effects. While the three other players all made the playoffs, Hall was on the Edmonton Oilers who finished in last place in the West Conference. +/- is a poor proxy for defence but it was used as one by many of the voters.
In fact I picked Hall as the best left winger in hockey. He managed to be the top scoring left winger despite having limited support from teammates. Hall is clearly the best player on his team. Of the other left wing candidates, only Benn could be argued to be the best player on his team although he wasn't their top scorer.
I think Taylor Hall was overlooked because Edmonton is not a big media outlet. Voters didn't watch him play as much as they did the other candidates. They didn't see how well he played game in and game out. The top scoring left winger who was the only significant offensive threat on his team deserves a better finish in the All Star voting. I think he was the best left winger in the league last year.
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