As our fives of fans may have noticed, the WTHII crew took a bit of a break for the holidays. Mike Vamosi kept pumping out recaps because he is a robot that knows nothing else. The rest of us? We enjoyed time with our families (robots don’t have families), drinking with old buddies (robots have no need for drinks or joy), or just generally sat around being useless human beings for a few weeks.
Now that we have been thrust back into the real world, we realize a whole lot of hockey has taken place, including, but not limited to, a thrilling Winter Classic. This time of year also means that only a couple days are left for fans to inevitably screw up the All Star voting, as they are known to do in all sports. Fans completely screwing up All Star lineups does not just stop at the NBA and the MLB. The NHL has to get into the fray as well. While the NBA has on more than one occasion had players such as Allen Iverson (who Brett shamelessly voted for since his rookie year) and Yao Ming get starting nods while playing zero minutes in a season, the NHL will more than likely see a Sid Crosby suffering from jelly brain and a Ovi suffering from what we can only assume is skating induced narcolepsy.
Because of these travesties and others like them, the WTHII crew has exercised our considerable influence with the NHL and they have decided to do away with the obviously flawed fan voting in favor of our method, which we call, “Make These People The All Stars and We Won’t Break Your Kneecaps.” Bettman has already come out to publicly proclaim this method as, “the only method that won’t leave me hospitalized.”
Without further ado, your WTHII All Stars
Phill Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs4th in points with 21 goals and 23 assists is nothing to sneeze at. Phil Kessel is without a doubt the comeback player of the year and deserves a spot on the East All Star Squad.
Marian Gaborik – New York Rangers – Gabs spent much of the season leading the league in goal scoring and is still a force. His Rangers are rolling and he has played a major roll. Also, 24/7 showed he was just an all around likable guy who doesn’t need no stinking car to carry his Christmas Tree.
Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers – leads the league in points, despite missing a few brains (another case of Jelly Brain). He has been nothing short of amazing and is a joy to watch on the ice. Now if he would just cut his hair, I’d be totally happy with him.
Marian Hossa – Chicago Blackhawks – is absolutely killing it with a loaded Blackhawks squad. He has a +/- of 23 and a respectable 43 points.
Daniel/Henrik Sedin Vancouver Canucks – I am counting the Sedin Twins as one person, because let’s face it, they clearly have one mind. It isn’t fair to make them count as two people. I theorize they are the first rendition of the feared Cyberdyne T series robots. If we didn’t put them here, they would kill us. Daniel is 3rd in the league in points while the other Sedin model is tied for first in points and assists accumulating a ridiculous 36 assists.
Jean- Paul Beaubier – Alpha Flight – also known as Northstar of the Alpha flight, is one of the fastest men on earth. He, much like the Sedins, has a super powered twin, Aurora (though she is female, and it’s awfully sexist of Bettman not to allow her to play hockey.) Northstar’s speed kills defenses and makes them pay. He is also the first openly gay super hero. Some say it is cheating to add a mutant and a former X-man to the All Star roster. Those people would be wrong.
Phil Kessel – I mean c’mon Mr. Kessel has been everything to the Leafs and is the first half MVP. As of Friday (Dec. 30) he ‘s third in points and fourth goals in the NHL. This has been a career year for him. When the Maple Leafs are good so is the league.
Tyler Seguin – Probably the league’s best rookie, young Seguin has double digits in goals and assists. But here is something that sticks out to me, he’s a +25 plus/minus ratio. When he’s on the ice, good things happen.
Kris Versteeg – Fear not small markets, I love a guy many haven’t heard of. Versteeg has 17 goals, 21 assists, 38 points which puts him just outside the top 10. He has been instrumental in the Panthers assent to the top of the Southeast division.
Jonathan Toews – Sure he plays with some great pieces in the windy city, but there’s no denying that he might be the straw that stirs the drink in Chicago.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Another center on my ballot but this is probably the second best rookie in the league. Also a factor is how he helps the team. The Oilers are in the thick of the northwest division chase, which few thought would be the case.
Joe Pavelski – Ok so this shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m voting for a San Jose player. Super Joe helps make the Sharks better on offense with 15 goals, 12 assists, and 27 points, and he is a +9.
Joe’s Picks [ed. note. Since the Kings’ first fall into hell (and another is coming), Joe has lost the will to use words. He now communicates only through his tears, which we have deciphered into his picks]
Steven Stamkos-Tampa Bay Lightning-26 goals leads the NHL on a disappointing Lightning team.
Tyler Seguin-Boston Bruins-32 points in 34 games.
Evgeni Malkin-Pittsburgh Penguins-picking up where he left off. Keeping Pittsburgh in contention.
Jonathan Toews-Chicago Blackhawks-Living up to the C on his sweater and leading the Blackhawks to success.
Henrik Sedin-Vancouver Canucks-36 helpers, most of which have gone to his twin Daniel.
Marian Hossa-Chicago Blackhawks-41 points and he has stayed healthy all year. The Hawks are virtually unstoppable with Hoss on the ice.
Evander Kane – Winnipeg Jets- The JETS will be in the playoffs. Kane is why. Nobody predicted this kind of play out of this club and Kane’s appetite for the net and his reckless energy is show-stopping.
Claude Giroux – Flyers – He’s clearly the most likable guy in hockey. I don’t care that his numbers are out of this world, I’m putting him on my list because I want to be his friend.
Steven Stamkos – Lightning – Not only does he lead the league in goals, he’s also shooting a blistering 20.3 percentage.
Marian Hossa – Chicago Blackhawks – There is no one scarier than Hossa. He’s looks like Lebron, but plays like Larry.
Sedin – Vancouver – Pick one.
Radim Vrbata – Phoenix – He’s one of the best scorers in the west and is leading an aspiring Phoenix team to fight for the playoffs.
Zdeno “Pink Nightmare” Chara – Chara consistently tries to murder people on the ice. Just ask Max Pacioretty. This is typically a good thing. His size and his intensity make him one of the top defenders in the East; it is the big reason why he leads Defensemen in +/-. He also leads them in criminal charges for on-ice attempted murders.
Erik Karlsson – He leads All Star voting for defensemen for reasons other than the fact that apparently people in Ottawa have nothing better to do than repeatedly vote for All Stars. He leads D-men in points at an impressive 37.
Shea Weber – though he is suffering from the Jelly Brain right now, he’s one of the most feared men on the ice and not just because of his terrifying playoff beard.
Nikolas Lidstrom – is 41 years old. FORTY ONE. I had to spell that out so you realized that even after being the league for over 20 years, with all those miles on him, he is tied for most goals for a defenseman and second in the valued plus-minus.
Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators – This isn’t like the MLB All-Star Game which every team needs representation, but Karlsson has had a good year for the Sens. He’s second in the league as of Friday with 29 which isn’t uncommon for a defenseman but 16 have been at even strength, meaning 13 have been in shorthanded situations I like the balance.
Brian Campbell – Florida Panthers – Whoa, another Panther? I know, I know but he has 27 assists, which 17 have been on the powerplay (leads the league). He is helping to anchor that unit for the ‘Cats.
Ian White – Detroit Red Wings – Who? How about one of the younger members of the Red Wings but tied for first (with two offensive players) in +/- at +25. You’re welcome Wings fans.
Nicklas Lidstrom – Detroit Red Wings – Let me start off by saying he is 41 years old and getting it done at a high-level on one of the top teams in the Western Conference. Sure he only has 23 points but his +18 works for me.
Erik Karlsson-Ottawa Senators-Leads all defensemen in the NHL in points while Ottawa holds on to second place in the Northeast.
Zdeno Chara-Boston Bruins- A very solid +21 and 17 assists to boot
Nicklas Lidstrom-Detroit Red Wings-the ageless wonder remains one of the best in the game. Best puck awareness in the league.
Alexander Edler-Vancouver Canucks-Big boy who can play on both sides of the puck.
Chara – Boston- He’s the tallest man on the planet earth.
Erik Karlsson – Ottawa – He’s the most helpful man on the planet earth.
Lidstrom– Red Wings- The oldest man on the planet earth.
Shea Weber – Predators – The scariest man on the planet earth.
Tim Thomas – Boston Bruins – Tim Thomas’ mustache alone I think has a few shut outs on the year. He leads the league in Goals allowed and Save percentage.
Sasquatch – Alpha Flight – I have the rulebook right here. There is nothing in here about barring a sasquatch from playing hockey. When this abominable (not to be confused with abdominal) snowman gets between the pipes, you can bet it will take more than a spin-o-rama to get it by him. When he leaves the crease, I would just love to see Boston try to rough him up.
Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings – He leads the West in save percentage and goals allowed. It would be a crime if he was not the West rep. His shutout streak early in the year skews some of those numbers, but he has still be solid for most of the season.
Tim Thomas – Boston Bruins – Can’t overlook that Thomas is all over the top5 . Third in goals against at 1.84, second with a save % of .943, third with four shutouts, and fifth with 16 wins. The old man is still kicking ass and taking names!
Brian Elliott – St. Louis Blues – He’s won 14 games, is second in the league in GAA with a 1.63 and third in save % .940 and is second with four shutouts. Elliot who is a solid candidate for comeback player of the year after 15 wins total with Ottawa/Colorado last season.
Tim Thomas-Boston Bruins-1.94 GAA and a .939 GAA
Jonathan Quick-Los Angeles Kings-5 shutouts. ’nuff said
Henrik Lundqvist – Rangers – He’s the best goalie in the business and is the sole reason the Rangers are on the top of the NHL.
Johnathan Quick – Kings – He’s got the shutouts, and he’s got the save percentage. If there was a mortal combat of goalies, I’d bet on Quick.