As usual, Fear the Weagle is late to the party. But this topic - which has been churned over the course of the day in Capitals Nation - was just too juicy to pass up.
So here's the short of it: Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green have been left off the Eastern Conference's All-Star roster, the only Capital to be named to the squad was superstar Alexander Ovechkin - a "gimme" of a pick.
Apparently someone at the NHL's head office didn't get the memo regarding the Capitals being one of the leagues elite teams this first half, not to mention the individual success of both Backstrom and Green.
This is just another prime example of how badly the NHL mismanages the way they market their game, and how it prohibits them from gaining any points in the popularity column in their attempts to win over new fans.
Backstrom ranks fourth in the league in assists this season with 33. Sorry NHL fans, but he won't be displayed at this event. Instead you can enjoy the underwhelming play of Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal who is on pace for a less than astounding 64 points, which would be his lowest output since his rookie campaign, when he marked 31.
Yep, he's an all-star folks. Granted he's all Carolina has to offer in terms of sheer talent, wouldn't it be better to give the spot to someone more deserving?
This brings us to Mike Green.
Green comes into the midway point ranked 3rd in Eastern Conference defenseman, tallying 26 points in 28 games. His 10 goals are good for 4th overall in the NHL. Well again, our apologies, but you'll have to make due with Mike Komisarek, the epitome of a defensive defenseman (albeit it one of the best in the NHL). Komisarek will undoubtedly put on a show in this exhibition, as his 3 points in 20 games speak volumes for his gifted offensive game.
The NHL needs to stop these nonsensical tactics, allowing the fans to pick their starting line-up. Time to give the vote to the coaches of the NHL who ice rosters much more flattering in showcasing what the NHL has to offer. Montreal fans only managed to get one starter right, defenseman Andrei Markov who is having a stellar year for the Habs.
Saku Koivu? Honestly? He's hardly a second line center on his own team let alone an All-Star starter.
Carey Price? Well excuse me but Tim Thomas and the stat book beg to differ.
In the NHL, the stats don't always tell the whole story, but rarely do they lie (exception being +/- in a handful of cases).
Hopefully fans of the NHL will enjoy watching the Montreal Canadiens, plus Sidney Crosby take on the best of the Western Conference, because I for sure will not.
But hey, hopefully George McPhee will be able to use this as leverage when negotiating contracts and awarding bonus incentives.
Be that as it may, Jose Theodore was able to put it best:
"The league really should review the system, especially for the starting lineup," he said. "Ovie not in the starting lineup takes away from the selections. The league needs to do something about it."
I think all fans of the game can agree with that. This has gone way past a popularity contest and is now bordering on a new definition for sad.
Enjoy you stuffed ballot Habs fans.