As part two of last week’s article, If We Had An NHL All-Star Game – Team East, we continue picking the roster of the game we never had. If we were playing some pick-up road ball in the street in between periods on TV, these are the guys you’d want on your team. They’d be team captains, or picked first, or argued over. If they didn’t hear when you yelled, “CAR!” during the game, you’d jump in front simply to protect them. They need no protection however; these men, are supermen.
Forward – Patrick Kane
See? I told you they were supermen. With 27 points in 24 games so far this year, Patrick Kane could easily have surpassed his highest point total of 88 back in 2010 should it have not been for our shortened season. 5th in powerplay goals, 6th in goals overall, and 7th in points, him and his teammate down below are huge reason’s for the Blackhawk’s red hot success.
Forward – Ryan Getzlaf
Now you may be like me and when someone says “Captain Duck”, you automatically think of Charlie Conway. But with the season this guy is having, my previous first thoughts are being converted. 18 points in his last 11 games, he’s helping his Ducks right to the top of the Western Conference standings (only behind the Blackhawks). Getzlaf currently stands fourth in assists with 18.
Forward – Henrik Zetterberg
It’s difficult to fill Nicklas Lidstrom’s shoes. Even when referring to Henriks in the league, Lundqvist or Sedin may be considered more popular. Don’t forget Zata! The new leader of the Red Wings is third in the league in assists with 19, and had a career-high five-point night against the Blues last month.
Defense – Niklas Kronwall
A fellow countryman, teammate, and Red Wings (alternate) captain of Zetterberg, it’s a pleasant surprise to see Kronwall on this list. Known for his gnashing hits and solid defensive play, the Wings d-man has become a leading offensive force with the departure of Lidstrom on Detroit’s blueline. Second in points among defensemen, he’s already half way to last season’s total of 36 points.
Defense – Kevin Shattenkirk
The Blues are just on the cusp of a playoff spot, and hopefully one of their star defensemen can assist in the second-half hurrah. Shattenkirk is currently third in d-men points with 17. With a full season, he could have been on pace for a breakout year–possibly up to 63 points. Also, with blueline partner Alex Pietrangelo, the two combine for 77 blocked shots.
Goaltender – Corey Crawford
11 wins, .940 save percentage, 1.53 goals against average, and 2 shutouts…quite an impressive resume Corey Crawford is building. His team has the lowest goals scored against average per game, and are second in the NHL for their penalty kill. Oh! And they’re on a huge 24 game unbeaten-in-regulation streak. Crawford has been a huge part of that. Ray Emery hasn’t sucked either. I smell Jennings–and possibly Vezina–already.