That time of year is upon us again. The mountains to the north are snow capped. The sun is on winter break. The Canucks are making a climb up the Western Conference standings. And it is that time to vote for your favorite players in this years NHL All-Star Game. Voting is open to all fans (who register online at NHL.com) and you can vote once a day.
A quick look at the “top voted” list shows that fans in Ottawa are stuffing the ballot box in support of their Senators. Daniel Alfredsson #2, Jason Spezza #3 & Milan Michalek #5 are not deserving of those spots in the forwards category. While defensemen Erik Karlsson #1 and Sergei Gonchar #6 are not having a start to the season worthy of an all-star selection either. Thank heavens the Sens don’t have a goalie on the ballot or he would likely be near the top too.
Here is my breakdown of this year’s ballot.
- Phil Kessel leads all players in voting. He also leads all players in goals and points. Not to mention leading the way in “most improved in his own zone play”
- Joffrey Lupul is showing fans around the league that he is worth the contract he is getting and has been a bonafied top line player all season in Toronto and earned his spot on the ballot
- Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler are the Canuck forwards on the ballot. The point per game output of the twins and Kesler’s improved play as of late may lead to all 3 of them suiting up
- Former Canuck (and 2011 Calder Trophy runner up) Michael Grabner is on the ballot this year
- Jeff Skinner (19), Steven Stamkos (21), John Tavares (21), Taylor Hall (20) and Jordan Eberle (21) add some youth to the ballot while Teemu Selanne (41) and Jaromir Jagr (39) add some age to it
- Crosby is on the ballot and if he continues playing the way he has since his return (11 points in 5 games) he will likely be in the starting lineup
- Jay Bouwmeester is nominated…Not sure why
- The Canucks only have one defenseman on the ballot and that is the one with the cannon from the point (well the one who doesn’t cause the fans to gasp “Please don’t get hurt on this shot”) Alex Edler. I have to say I have loved Edler’s play this year and if it weren’t for the duo of Leafs on the ballot I’d give him my vote
- John-Michael Liles and Dion Phaneuf are both nominated from the Leafs. Dion started strong this year and as his play trailed off Liles’ picked up. For that reason I will vote for both of them
- Brian Campbell has been a beast on the power play (13 points on the power play) in Florida and has been rewarded with a spot on the ballot
- The return to form of Sheldon Souray continues as his hot start in Dallas has gotten him not only back into an NHL lineup but back on the All-Star ballot
- Vancouver’s favorite defenseman turned forward/agitator turned defenseman/leader Dustin Byfuglien is on the ballot out of Winnipeg. He’s not off to as hot of a start as he was last year in Atlanta, but he is still a difference maker and that has earned him a spot on the ballot
- James Reimer (whiplash) and Ryan Miller (concussion) both haven’t played for weeks but are still near the top of voting for goalies
- Luongo is on the ballot. If he get’s voted in can we send Schneider to play the end of the period he get’s since he will likely get chased?
- The lights out start to the year for Nikolai Khabibulin in Edmonton got him on the ballot at age 38
- If Jonathan Quick isn’t the top goalie then it is proof that not just people in LA don’t know about how good he is. 10 wins so far with 4 coming via shutout
So, here is my ballot for the 2012 NHL All Star Game:
Here is likely what VcB Editor Karm’s ballot looks like: