Wednesday, November 5, 2008
104 “ALLSTARS” I use that term loosely, and for good reason. Earlier this week the NHL released the ballot for the 2009 All-Star game, being held in Montreal, and here I will respond to the obscene inclusions, inexcusable omissions, and downright idiocy of a few of these picks.
First off, why can’t the vote include all players? You’d think the NHL would have learned their lesson after the “Vote for Rory” debacle, but apparently no. We still get the choices of the Man up in NYC and only have the option to “write-in” a single player (most likely who is more deserving than some terrible asshat who plays on a “popular” and by popular I mean Canadian, team), who were omitted from this be-all-to-end-all master list. Blow me, Bettman. Blow me.
PLAYERS WHO DON'T DESERVE TO BE EVEN NOMINATED TO BE AN ALLSTAR LET ALONE EVEN BEING REFERRED TO AS A SERVICEABLE #1 GOALIE, JOURNEYMAN WINGER, STRUGGLING ROOKIE, SAGE VETERAN, CAREER AHL'ER, OR GOOD PERSON edit:: Only the goalies this time around
ITS THE GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAALIE (mighty ducks reference, look it up)
- Martin Biron, Philadelphia Flyers
- Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
- Rick DiPietro, New York Islanders
- Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Kari Lehtonen, Atlanta Thrashers
- Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
- Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
- Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
- Vesa Toskala, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Tomas Vokoun, Florida Panthers
Brodeur is hurt, see post below, tweaked vagina. I kid, one of the greatest goalies of all time, somehow has dodged the injury bug until now. Still...take his ass off the ballot.
Oh Ricky, how you're so not fine, as a matter of fact, you are a douche. A big flaming douche. You should not be on this ballot, not one bit, the Isles won't even alert the media as to your injury. But with that team in front of you, you wouldn't deserve to be on the team anyways.
Fleury...You get a pass. 6-3-2 2.49 and .920 isn't too bad while missing your top 2 defenders, legit. For now.
Kari Lehtonen. Dude, you're on the 2nd page of NHL stats. Get off the ballot. 2-5-2 3.44 GAA and .903 save %? WHAT? There are two goalies on his OWN TEAM that have better numbers. Cut it out, Bettman. Cut. It. Out.
Next we have Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Miller, and Carey Price. All legit, no one can have qualms with those 3 guys being on the ballot.
Vesa Toskala, has to be the only reason that the Leafs, with that rag tag bunch of losers they've assembeled and refer to as a professional hockey team in Toronto, have a winning record. But his numbers are still piss poor.
Tommy Vokoun is the other hard one to determine, probably should be left off the ballot by virtue of his 3-7 record, but with the Panthers in front of him he must face 67 shots a game. 3.02 GAA and a .910 % percentage isn't too bad. He should probably be left off though.
NOW FOR PLAYERS THAT GOT THE PROVERBIAL SNNNNUB.
Tim Thomas - Boston Bruins. This journeyman fat hog has played phenomenally with that Julien led trap in front of him, with a 1.85 GAA and .944 save %, how can he be left off this list? Add in a pair of shutouts and the fact that they are currently tied atop the Northeast division with the Sabres, you have the first snub. Simply he is a casualty of splitting time with Manny Fernandez.
Alexander Auld - I ridiculed this poor bastard earlier. He's the epitome of a fill-in who wrestles the job away from the incumbent (kinda?) starter and ran away with the job. He boasts a 5-2-1 record with a 1.84 GAA and .936 save %. Ottawa started slow, but it's no coincidence a little semblance of solid goaltending led to their resurgence.
Also a casualty of splitting time, for whatever reason, with that f-stick Marty Gerber.
Mike Smith - Playing for that God awful Tampa team, has compiled a 4-3-3 record in 10 games for the Lightning. Ranked 8th in goals against with a 2.33 and 3rd with a .934. Is 10 games enough to warrant an all-star invite. No clue.
TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
Since taking the job away from Jose Theodore, Brent Johnson has put together a string of good starts, but not enough to warrant an allstar nom. Likewise, Michael Leighton, splitting time with former Conn Smythe winner Cam Ward, has put together some good numbers in limited time.
This list needs to be trimmed down, you don't need to pander to your markets to make them feel special by having NHL allstar nominees. Lose Biron, Lose DiPi, Lose Lehtonen, Lose Vokoun. Add those two snubs if you want, whatever I don't give a shit, but seriously these guys don't deserve it.
ITS THE GOOOOOOOOOOALIEEEE (same previous mighty ducks reference)
Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild
Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix Coyotes
J.S. Giguere, Anaheim Ducks
Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames
Pascal Leclaire, Columbus Blue Jackets
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose Sharks
Chris Osgood, Detroit Red Wings
Marty Turco, Dallas Stars
Now see I'm already pissed off, just looking at the Wests list versus the Easts, take a gander, only 9 listed here. So apparently there's not another goalie in the West worth enough of a damn so they could even the lists. I'm sure I'll be able to find a suitable snub later, when I get to it, which is now. Let's proceed through the Western Conference's goalies. CAVEAT EMPTOR:: I do not get to watch many WESTCON games, as I suppose you could say I buy into the east coast media bias. Suck it LA.
Niklas Backstrom: Legit. 2.19 and .931 on a competitive team.
Ilya Bryzgalov: Not that Bad, but 2.47 and .919 isn't that great.
J.S. Giguere: Started off terrible, but with that defense ahead of him, is 3.07 and .907 at all acceptable? I didn't think so.
Miika Kiprusoff: Not this year (3.33 and .888)
Pascal LeClaire: or any year (3.41 and .881). He's played less games than his back up Norrena (luckily he has worse numbers than Pascal)
Nabokov: How bout Yesbokov, but only by virtue of his record. His numbers are not impressive whatsoever.
Roberto Luongo: Deserving, 5 shutouts at this point in the year is pretty damn impressive.
Chris Osgood: Underappreciated, but would his numbers be the same on just an average defensive team? Still 2.97 and .892 ain't nothing to stick on the refrigerator.
Marty Turco: Good God no, look at those numbers, horrendous! 4-6-2. 3.93 GAA. .858 Save %. THAT'S an all-star?!?
And yes I know I wrote a ton less for the West than the East, but I've seen the east goalies multiple times, and rarely get to watch those out in the left coast.
THE PROVERBIAL SNUBBZ
Wait, I looked, look at the numbers for the teams in the west, the goalies are freakin terrible! You have an argument for the Cristobal Huet and Bulin Wall tandem, but they've only played 6 and 7 games, respectively, so they can't count. LaBarbera is the next closest to having a shot (that hasn't been given an undeserving nomination) and his numbers at still above 3 and under .900. Snubs? THERE ARE NONE.
TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
The aforementioned Chicago netminders. Tough one fellas.
I'm not going to speak to knowing, but, looking at the numbers, only perhaps, 5 goalies deserve to get a nomination for the All-Star game. It's already a sham that this game is played in the middle of the season and has only 15 games or so of a sample size to select said "all-stars" but some of these picks are downright insulting. If I'm Marty Turco I'm calling up somebody in New York and would be insulted that my play could even be considered the best of the best.
19 goaltenders were offered up as nominees for the All-Star game, of those, maybe 10 deserve recognition. Trim down the list of nominees, and then you won't have to insult us fans with the choice between Crap 1 and Crap 2. It's a shame the NHL decides to pander to certain markets or appease influential teams with some of these picks (at least that's the conspiracy theorist in me), but this probably isn't going to change much of anything. Even though this is just for the starters, and the coaches (whose selection process is even more arbitrary than the players) hopefully rectify this situation.
If I had my choices...
From the East. Ryan Miller, Henrik Lundqvist, and Tim Thomas. Lundqvist gets the start.
From the West. Roberto Luongo, Niklas Backstrom, and in a toss up Ilya Bryzgalov. Luongo the start.