Tuesday, January 09, 2007


All-Star Starters

They just announced the starting players for the 2007 All Star Game which will take place on Wednesday, January 24th in Dallas televised by Versus. The starters for this game have been decided by fan voting in recent years. Here are the starters for each conference:

Eastern Conference
Daniel Briere (BUF) - Sidney Crosby (PIT) - Alexander Ovechkin (WSH)
Sheldon Souray (MTL) - Brian Campbell (BUF)
Ryan Miller (BUF)

Western Conference
Joe Thornton (SJ) - Joe Sakic (COL) - Jonathon Cheechoo (SJ)
Nicklas Lidstrom (DET) - Scott Niedermayer (ANA)
Roberto Luongo (VAN)

Now, all 12 guys are worthy enough all stars (OK, maybe not Cheechoo) and the fans did vote them into the All Star game. Regardless I seriously question what would make fans select Ryan Miller over Martin Brodeur. Brodeur is either leading the NHL or close to it in all statistical categories for goaltenders. He's been not just a rock for the New Jersey Devils, but the biggest reason they are where they are as opposed to looking up the wrong end at New York (both) and Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division. Rich Chere in today's column in the Star Ledger say this could be the year Martin Brodeur is (finally) recognized as the MVP of the NHL.

But you know, that isn't worthy of consideration for starting an All Star Game. When Bill Clement asked the two other guys in the Versus studio for two other potential All Stars, they mention Martin St. Louis, Rod Brind'Amour, Martin Straka, and Ray Whitney. Fair enough. That's their opinion and you can make strong cases for all of them. When you consider how dominant Brodeur has been all season so far, the fact that Martin Brodeur's name escaped them is telling of the lack of respect him and the Devils get in the hockey world. I have an example of this lack of respect: Bruce Garrioch repeats the old trope that the Devils simply trap and bored the Senators to a loss. As do some of the other Senators players, such as Chris Phillips. I know Phillips was there, I remember him huffing and puffing up the rink many times. Whether Garrioch actually watched the game, I do not know. Anyway. "Boring! Trap! Defense!," if you're a Devils fan and pay attention to hockey coverage - you know what I mean. Funny how they are treated as an afterthought until a game is played and this sentiment comes up after the Devils are successful.

Fortunately, the GMs and the NHL determine the rest of the All Star line up and they aren't blind fools. Brodeur will be in Dallas later this January. Unfortunately, the second guy most hard done by these selections will not.

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