Sunday, January 14, 2007


All Star Weekend

The hockey gods have spoken and there will be no Rory Fitzpatrick in the game. The email, internet and website campaign to elect the warm body to the National Hockey League All Star Game in Dallas later this month has failed. It was a nice gimmick and one felt sorry for Fitzpatrick over the course of the event.

He has been a healthy scratch in Vancouver several times already this year and barely clings to a NHL paycheque. He will get some time away from the rink over the break unless Fox News hires him to file reports from the game.

Two quick things. It is time to drop the one player per team rule. It is a slap in the face to the real all-stars. Two, it is time to move the game to after the season and put in a non-NHL location.

The real line-ups are in and it is time to compare choices - MP in parenthesis.


Roberto Luongo (x)
Miikka Kiprusoff (x)
Marty Turco (Chris Mason)

Scott Niedermayer (x)
Nicklas Lidstrom (x)
Philippe Boucher (x)
Dion Phaneuf (x)
Kimmo Timonen (x)
Lubomir Visnovsky (x)

Joe Thornton (x)
Jonathon Cheechoo (Daymond Langkow)
Joe Sakic (x)
Bill Guerin (Henrik Sedin)
Martin Havlat (x)
Patrick Marleau (x)
Rick Nash (Daniel Sedin)
Yanic Perreault (x)
Brian Rolston (x)
Teemu Selanne (x)
Ryan Smyth (Paul Kariya)
Henrik Zetterberg (x)

Ryan Miller (x)
Martin Brodeur (x)
Cristobal Huet (x)

Brian Campbell (x)
Sheldon Souray (x)
Jay Bouwmeester (x)
Zdeno Chara (x)
Tomas Kaberle (Andrei Markov)
Brian Rafalski (Dan Boyle)

Sidney Crosby (x)
Alexander Oveckin (x)
Daniel Briere (x)
Jason Blake (Jaromir Jagr)
Simon Gagne (Marc Savard)
Dany Heatley (x)
Marian Hossa (x)
Vincent Lecavalier (x)
Martin St. Louis (x)
Brendan Shanahan (x)
Eric Staal (Thomas Vanek)
Justin Williams (Rod Brind'Amour)

It is a travesty when Bill Guerin plays in the All Star game while both Sedins still fallow. Perhaps there was a bit of vote-splitting going on between them, but still.

I like to see Phaneuf in the game (though that might not have come to fruition had either Pronger or Zubov been healthy) but he hasn't even been the best defenseman on the Flames, let alone one of the six best in the conference. Roman Hamrlik has quietly but still noticeably taken over at the top rearguard in Calgary. He's been effective on the power play and a steady presence in his own end, both attributes which allow Phaneuf to make the big hit or cannon the big one-timer. He's been spectacular in his consistency and a true star player for the Flames.

I like your mention of Daymond Langkow as well. The man is inching his way into the top-20 in scoring and is one of the most effective two-way players in the game. While Darryl Sutter was lambasted for letting Craig Conroy go, Langkow has shown he's everything Conroy is except more creative with the puck. It is no wonder that Iginla is having the season he is.

I don't know what the hell Simon Gagne is doing in the game, especially when Brind'Amour is out, but Justin Williams does deserve to be there.

good commentary.
first, I meant "sit fallow", not "still fallow". I have no idea why I did that.

Second, I forgot to give a shout out to Phillip Boucher, perhaps the most underrated defenseman in the game who has been recognized for his efforts. Perhaps his inclusion was a response to Zubov's unavailability, but he is decidedly worthy of the tribute.
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