Monday, January 15, 2007

The all-star snubs

Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun has a good piece today on players left off the NHL's all-star teams, and he picks up on all of the 'snubbed' candidates we've been hearing all about about since they were announced Saturday.

Of those, there a few who standout more than the others:

Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta. Being (slightly) overshadowed by teammate Marian Hossa is the only thing keeping him off the team.

Marc Savard, Boston. The Rodney Dangerfield of hockey, Savard is ninth in NHL scoring and proving, once again, he's one of the premier offensive players in the league. If the Bruins miss the playoffs, I'd like to see him on Canada's world championship entry as he's been snubbed by Hockey Canada since appearing on the Under-18 team in 1993-94.

Dominik Hasek, Detroit. The Dominator was upset he wasn't selected: "I'm disappointed. I thought I was going to be there," Hasek said. "It wasn't the reason I came to play for this team. I'm just going to change my plans for the All-Star game." Sending Marty Turco as one of the game's hometown representatives makes sense, although Hasek has had a better season.

Mirtle's all-star teams
x - indicates player injured, will not play
Players in italics not named to actual teams

Eastern Conference
Goal: Brodeur, Huet, Miller
Defence: Souray, Gonchar, Boyle, Chara, Bouwmeester, Kaberle
Forwards: Heatley, Ovechkin, Crosby, Straka, Hossa, Lecavalier, Jagr-x, St. Louis, Alfredsson, Semin, Savard, Kovalchuk, Briere

Western Conference
Goal: Kiprusoff, Hasek, Giguere-x, Luongo
Defence: Pronger-x, Boucher, Lidstrom, Niedermayer, Phaneuf, Schneider, Liles-x, Fitzpatrick
Forwards: Selanne, Marleau, Thornton, Iginla-x, D. Sedin, Rolston, Zetterberg, Sullivan, Datsyuk, Frolov, Sakic, Smyth, Havlat

Actual all-star teams by NHL team

Anaheim: Niedermayer, Selanne

Atlanta: Hossa
Boston: Chara
Buffalo: Briere, Campbell, Miller
Calgary: Kiprusoff, Phaneuf
Carolina: Staal, Williams
Chicago: Havlat
Colorado: Sakic
Columbus: Nash
Dallas: Boucher, Turco
Detroit: Datsyuk, Lidstrom
Edmonton: Smyth
Florida: Bouwmeester
Los Angeles: Visnovsky
Minnesota: Rolston
Montreal: Huet, Souray
Nashville: Timonen
New Jersey: Brodeur, Rafalski
N.Y. Islanders: Blake
N.Y. Rangers: Shanahan
Ottawa: Heatley
Philadelphia: Gagne
Pittsburgh: Crosby
Phoenix: Perreault
St. Louis: Guerin
San Jose: Cheechoo, Marleau, Thornton
Tampa Bay: Lecavalier, St. Louis
Toronto: Kaberle
Vancouver: Luongo
Washington: Ovechkin

PS. I'd thought the NHL had done away with the rule where every NHL team must be represented, but there are a few selections this year that seem to indicate that's not the case.

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At 9:00 PM, January 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please explain your inclusion of Zetterberg.

I realize that he is an amazing, dynamic player, but has he really shown that much this season? Especially if you're putting Datsyuk and Hasek on the team? I guess this happens because you didn't pick a player from each team.

And how much does your team change if you're forced to represent every team?

At 9:10 PM, January 15, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Strange, no Rory on this list.

You'd also mis-count the votes?


At 9:12 PM, January 15, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

You're right Sleek — huge oversight on my part. I've added him in place of Timonen.

At 9:22 PM, January 15, 2007, Anonymous Darren said...

And why Daniel over Henrik, just out of curiousity. Unless he's your 12th pick for forward, shouldn't they both be included?

At 9:28 PM, January 15, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Loxy: I tried to go mainly based on statistics, which left me with a pretty Detroit-heavy team (which I didn't notice until you pointed it out). Zetterberg has definitely been one of the best Western Conference forwards this season: while his point totals aren't going to blow anyone away (although he is on pace for 31 goals), he's a top penalty killer, is +17 and has four game-winning goals. He's terrific in a lot more ways than on the power play (where he's been ordinary).

Darren: I couldn't decide who to leave off in place of Henrik and was let with picking between the twins. I found it hard to pick a guy with just five goals as an all-star, while Daniel has had a couple of nice overtime winners.

At 9:54 PM, January 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally missed the +17 when I was looking for reasons to include Zetterberg.

I guess if Draper can make the Olympic team...

At 12:34 AM, January 16, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is cycling the puck in the corner until 18,000 fans fall asleep a rare skillset? Unless it is, 1/2 the Sedin Sisters should be nowhere near an All-Star game except to cheer on the other.

At 2:26 AM, January 16, 2007, Anonymous Darren said...

Anonymous: The Sedins are both on pace for 80+ points this year, and are ranked 30th and 34th in scoring for the league.

I agree that they're not flashy, nor fast, but cycling the puck the way they do is a rare skill. And they're also exceptional passers, particularly to each other. Plus, of course, they're great two-way players--they have the best +/- among forwards on their team.

Would I rather have two Pavel Bures? Yeah, but that shouldn't disqualify them from the all-star game.

At 7:41 AM, January 17, 2007, Blogger alyosha mcbain said...

Your Eastern Conference list is right on the money. How Danny Boyle and Marty Straka were left off this team is mysterious; they are both having the best seasons of their careers this year.


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