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Saturday, March 25, 2006 

2006 NHL All Star Game Selections

The NHL season is coming into the final stretch, and it has been a pretty good season. There have been some great goals:






Some great saves:






There have also been some out-right stupid plays, which I won’t replay here. Those from Havlat and, on the Olympic side, Malkin come to mind. Speaking of which, the Olympics are the reason for the only thing missing this year – the All Star game. Selection for this game is a lot more fun to me than selection for the Olympics, and I’m still feeling cheated for not having had the normal All Star debates this year. That said, I’ve decided now to make my selections for the All Star game. Injuries aside, here are my choices:

Eastern Conference

Forwards

Alfredson Jagr Heatley
Kovalchuk Staal Ovechkin
Briere Gagne Hossa
Spezza Forsberg Crosby

Defense

McCabe Redden
Pitkanen Chara
Markov Meszaros

Goalies

Hasek
Lundqvist
Miller

Other candidates that most people will likely argue may include Havlat, Jokinen, Cole and Savard on forward. I couldn’t include Havlat because he is a giant fcuk who I would love to see taken out of the league by any means necessary. Savard is 60 % Rucchin. Cole, although very talented, was on a very strong line and doesn’t quite cut it against the 12 people listed above. Jokinen, I’m just still not convinced that he’s real. As I’ve mentioned before, I think he’s getting a lot of the Shane Doan, someone’s gotta score points, and would be fairly unnoticeable on most other teams. That’s certainly not enough to be an all star in my books.

Eastern Conference defense isn’t nearly as strong, at least on an individual basis, as the West. There’s really no excuse for Andrei Markov to be making an All Star lineup, but who else is there in the East? Boyle might make the best argument, but past him there is Kaberle and his brother Kaberle, then you’re down at the likes of Souray and Brad Stuart already. Rafalski isn’t having a great year, and Bouwmeester certainly had no business being in the Olympics. Who am I missing? Numinen? Leetch? It’s just a sad state of affairs in the East.

As for goalies, these are possibly the three strongest goalies in the league right now – one from the past, and two leading towards a glowing future. I guess something has to make up for the sad state of defense in the East, and they’ve certainly got it covered in net. Gerber and Thomas are on the next tier, but certainly not having quite the dominant effect on their teams as the three listed above.


Western Conference

Forwards

Demitra Zetterberg Datsyuk
Thornton Sullivan Selanne
Gaborik Shanahan Modano
Rolston Tanguay Kariya

Defense

Schneider Visnovsky
Lidstrom Boucher
Niedermayer Zidlicky

Goalies

Legace
Vokoun
Kiprosoff

As strong as the Eastern Conference forwards have looked this year, the Western Conference forwards have looked equally weak. Demitra and Thornton are the only players who may have a say in keeping the East from claiming the 10 best forwards in the league. Once you’re beyond the 12 I’ve listed, arguments could be made for Cheechoo (your choice as the first half’s Rucchin of the Year), McDonald, Smyth and Svatos. Naslund and Iginla, normally the dominant forces in the West, haven’t done enough to even crack the top 12 in a very weak field.

Defense is the exact opposite, where 6 of the top 8, and likely 15 of the top 20 defensemen this year live in the West. For that reason, arguments could be made for many people to jump over Zidlicky for the last spot. Off the top of my head, Phaneuf, Liles, Berard, Zubov, Mara, Blake, Corvo, and Salo could each have their merits argued. For me, though, Zidlicky and Niedermayer and still more worthy than these, although Liles was hard to leave off.

There can be no arguing those three selections in net. Fernandez would be your best shot, but if you look at what Legace, Kipper and Vokoun have been able to do, especially in the win column, there is no reasonable way to leave them out of the game. I’m not sure how the three of them, along with Lundqvist, Miller and Hasek can be weeded down to 3 for the Vezina voting. Injuries will likely play a roll in that, which likely gives the edge to Kipper and Vokoun. The third place would be a battle of .925 save percentages between Hasek and Lundqvist, between the faithful Hasek vote, and the Lundqvist supporters who see him putting up similar numbers on a far weaker team. Hard to tell exactly which way that will go. If Legace had played all year, I would say the award goes to him, but his missed games in combination with a strong, young base in Detroit will keep him off the finalist altogether. It’s too bad, too, since I seemed to be the only one who knew he was a Vezina-caliber goalie in the past, and I just love being proven right.

prove this right

why are there two ovechkin mantages? do you have a man-crush on him?

jokinen and phaneuf belong.

Hey man, good to hear from you again :) every so often I check back and see if any old friends can be googled for contact info or some such... you need a livejournal account ;) I even have a blogspot, just for the sake of having a blogspot presence at http://thebruce0.blogspot.com/ hehe...

anyway, loved the hockey vids too... there's some crazy stuff in there; that last goal save - holy crap!

caps suck, dont make us watch that crap

I have been looking for sites like this for a long time. Thank you! »

Excellent, love it! »

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