With the NHL All-Star game taking place Sunday afternoon, we figured it would be a fine time to introduce likes and dislikes. In this article we talk about our favorite selections and selections who really we aren’t too keen on.
One of the players I like the most playing in this years NHL All Star game is Vladimir Tarasenko from the St. Louis Blues. As of January 27th (the day I’ve written this), In 49 games played this Russian sensation has 21 goals, 26 assists and 47 points total. Vladimir is listed at #8 among all NHL players in the standings this year. His skill and puck handling has always been something I’ve been drawn too. Now I’m not saying he’s the next Pavel Datsyuk or anything…but he is a amazing to watch and truly gifted with the ‘Datsyukian touch’. Anytime Tarasenko has the puck he puts on one hell of a show. Maybe thats why his nickname is ‘Tarasenk-show’.
Two Players Have Earned Their All Star Appearance:
Big Bob has had one heck of a year in Columbus so far. The veteran netminder finally has a formidable team in front of him, and has made short work of the NHL so far. In 38 starts Bob has 28 wins, most in the league, along with 3 shutouts. His GAA and SV% are nothing to laugh at either; Bob is allowing a 4th best 2.04 goals per game along with a 3rd best .930 save percentage. Don’t expect his numbers to dip anytime soon either, as long as Bob and the Blue Jackets stay healthy they will be a serious threat for any team in this league.
I can’t put my finger on it, but I really like Tarasenko. He’s a lot of fun to watch on the ice, and plus he has a cool name. It helps when you’re ranked 6th in the league among forwards with 47 points on the year. Vladimir leads the Blues for scoring, with his closest teammate being Kevin Shattenkirk with 33 points. Just shy of a point per game (0.96), along with 6 power play goals and 4 game winning goals, Tarasenko leaves no doubt as to why he will be heading to LA.
Two Players That Should Have Been Left Off:
Though he is the leading scorer on the Devils, Taylor Hall ranks 79th in the league for forwards in terms of scoring. Tied with ten other players that have 31 points, none of his stats separate Hall from the rest of the league. 5 power play goals is good for 39th in the league, while his highest ranked stat is game winning goals (GWG) at 23rd with 4. 0.78 points per game is certainly respectable, but again he ranks 51st in this stat. I just don’t see what made him earn the All Star appearance, unless I’m simply missing something.
As much as I like to see a Hurricanes player in the All Star game, I can’t help but feel that it was a hand out. Every other defenseman in the All Star ranks ahead of Faulk in points (21) and plus/minus rating (-15), with the exception of P.K. Subban having less points. P.K. has played 9 less games than Faulk but only trails him by four points (17). Faulk’s point ranking comes in at 43rd, which is again considerably lower than the average All Star. Among Metropolitan D-men Justin is ranked 13th for points, which is his best argument for an All Star appearance. At the end of the day I think variety was the main reason for his pick, to prevent the Metropolitan from being all about the Penguins, Capitals, and Blue Jackets.
For my favorite selection, I have to go with the kid from Toronto in Auston Matthews. This kid have been lighting things up in his first season in the NHL. 39 points on 23 goals and 16 assists, Matthews has been a real treat to watch. He also represents one of the many young stars in the NHL and deserves to have this stage to showcase the talents that we will see for years to come.
Another one of my favorite selections is goaltender Martin Jones from San Jose. While it’s very obvious that he would make the All-Star game, I can’t help to be amazed at how big of an impact he’s been for the Sharks. Helping the Sharks get to their first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history and is picking up where he left off. Now thing with him is the Pacific division don’t have many outstanding goaltenders outside of Quick and Jones, however don’t let that diminish how huge Jones been for this Sharks team.
Now for the selections that I’m not a fan of and really I only have one. For this one I may get heat from Chicago fans for this, but generally I don’t care. Corey Crawford is a guy I don’t get why or how he made the All-Star team. I believe Crawford benefits from playing for the Blackhawks and the mainstream hype that they get. There’s one other goalie who’s numbers are slightly better than Crawford’s, Pekka Rinne. Pekka has a better Goal’s Against Average than Crawford (Pekka: 2.36 to Crawford’s 2.57) and his Save % is slightly better as well at .921 to . 918. No doubt Crawford is good, but I don’t think he should have that spot in the All-Star game.