Monday, January 05, 2009

Putting Ovechkin's Snub In Perspective

Montreal will host a peculiar All-Star game that will feature a starting line up of nothing but Canadiens and Penguins. But if you are going to leave the voting up for fans to decide, then you are going to get results like this from time to time.

Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Canadiens Alexei Kovalev, Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek and Carey Price makes the starting roster for the Eastern Conference. Since Malkin leads the league in points and assist, his selection makes sense. Crosby is going to get selected no matter what, he is the face of the league and apart of the NHL PR machine.

I can buy into Mike Komisarek and Andrei Markov, they are very good defensemen. Markov is seventh in the league in points and Komisarek is just a smart tough blue liner. Price is a stretch considering Manny Fernandez or Tim Thomas would be good selections considering the Bruins perch atop the Eastern Conference. Kovalev? No clue. He doesn't rank in the top 30 in goals, assists or points.

Alex Ovechkin is mysteriously left off the list with only 470,000 votes. It could be because of Ovi's slow start to the season or because Canadien fans who would vote in a rock dressed in a Montreal sweater. But another good reason for a low vote count is no one wants to face Ovechkin. The Capitals are quickly becoming the team that fans across the league hate to see playing their team. That sort of animosity could get a few people to choose Kovalev over Ovechkin.

It's not like Ovi is going to miss the All-Star game. I wouldn't be surprised if after the opening face-off someone comes off the ice and Ovechkin is the next player on. Two other Capitals make strong arguements to make the All-Star team in Mike Green and Nick Backstrom.

I guess I am not the only one who thinks that the fans voted weirdly. Craig Custance of Sporting News puts the 411 on who should really be there, for both Eastern and Western Conferences.

Caps Notes:
  • Alexandre Giroux was sometime frustrated after getting open when he was a Capital. He would have a beautiful scoring chance that only turned into a great save. But in the AHL those shots are going in a plenty. Since being demoted back to the Hershey Bears Giroux hasn't found it hard to find the back of the net, including four goals last night against the Worcester Sharks. He has nine points in the past two games.
  • Speaking of the Hershey Bears, bench boss Bob Woods was chosen for the AHL All-Star game. He will coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars.
  • The game Tuesday against the Flyers could not only push the Caps up further away the remaining teams in the Southeast Division (currently 10 points better than Carolina), but it could also push them 7 points away from 3rd in the Eastern Conference, who just happens to be the Flyers.


XCapt48 said...

At least you are slightly more reasoned than Mr Laughlin on this subject.

Why would someone not vote for the annointed one just because they are afraid to play against him?

Perhaps it is because, outside of DC and the sliver up to Hershey, Ovie is NOT considered the "greatest player in the NHL" as Laughlin repeated several times during the broadcast the other night.

He's good, and I'll give him that, but so are Crosby and Malkin, and they deserve to be there.

TheScribbler said...

NHL fan voting sponsered by gizmoco, vote as many times as you like for whomever you like.

I don't think "DESERVES" is going anywhere near that scenario!

Fanbot will vote 1,000,000 times for Ovie next year and then we'll see who's really the best in the NHL! ;-)

Garrett said...

Dave - I agree that Crosby and Malkin get votes and maybe they do "deserve" to be there (although the Penguins are on the playoff bubble).

But Kovalev? Does he "deserve" to be there? Komisarek? Does he "deserve" to be there?

You are saying that Ovechkin is not the best player in the NHL. Fair enough. But looking at the numbers, there has only been one player in the last three years that has dominated on goals and points. And he wears a Caps sweater. MVP is not a fluke.

Irony of ironies, Semin and Crosby on the same line at the All-Star game. Hmmm.

XCapt48 said...

Garrett, good points.

Remember, though, if Crosby weren't hurt last season, no MVP or Ross, (but still the Hart) for Ovi. Look at PPG for a career, and Crosby still has the edge.

I just always love hearing the homer announcer pretend that there is only one superstar in the league, when there are truly 3-5 who are equals on any given day