Jan 12, 2012, 2:23 PM EDT
The 2012 NHL All-Star game rosters have been announced, so now it’s time for the fun part — picking them apart! Here’s a look at some of the biggest surprises headed to Ottawa.
Brian Elliott is an intriguing choice. He’s only started 20 games and his partner in the St. Louis goaltending timeshare, Jaroslav Halak, has solid numbers himself (2.19 GAA, two shutouts). Mind you, it’d be hard to dismiss Elliott given he’s second in the NHL in GAA (1.62), save percentage (.940) and shutouts (five).
Another eyebrow-raiser: Carey Price. No question he’s been a workhorse in Montreal, but he’s also 20th in GAA, 24th in save percentage and has as many wins as losses.
Dustin Byfuglien was brutal for the first month of the season, and now he’s hurt. The 24 points in 35 games are nice, but he’s still minus-8 and not that far removed from being called a disappointment.
I get the Dan Girardi selection and am glad he was recognized…but it’s a little like when Ben Wallace went to the NBA All-Star Game (and he went four times). It’s the square-peg-round-hole dynamic: Two guys that like being physical and blocking shots, stuck in a game where nobody cares about defense.
(Also, you could argue Michael Del Zotto should be the Rangers defenseman going to Ottawa.)
Mikko Koivu is a surprise. He’s 51st among all forwards in scoring — anytime you’re looking up the points leaderboard at Curtis Glencross, P.A. Parenteau and Adam Henrique, you’re probably not expecting an ASG nod.
Not sure I agree with the Patrick Kane selection — he’s Chicago’s fourth-leading scorer and on pace for a career-low in goals. Makes a mean burrito, though.
It’s probably a PR nightmare to leave Alex Ovechkin off the All-Star roster (for the first time in his career), but I don’t see how he’s more deserving than his Washington teammate, Nicklas Backstrom. Mike Knuble said Backstrom’s been the most consistent player on an inconsistent team. Backstrom also leads the Caps in scoring and 15th in the league in points.
Justin Faulk wins this year’s Representing Awful Team With Token Rookie Game Appearance award (last year it went to Florida’s Evgeny Dadonov.) No way he should be there ahead of Marc-Andre Gragnani or Jared Cowen.
Feel free to add your own All-Star Game surprises in the comments section.
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