The All Star Game starting line-ups have been announced and as usual we’re incensed at who’s been deemed an “all star” and who’s been deemed “less than”. We look at the guys who were “voted in” by the “fans” and have a hard time trying to figure out which league these so-called “fans” have been watching, because it’s clearly not the same one we are. Let’s take a look at the starters, position-by-position, and see how the “winners” match up to the guys we think are the real all-stars.
Our pick: Dainius Zubrus
Zubrus was brought in to fill some mighty big shoes following the departure of Scott Gomez and his 60 points, and he brought with him a whopping cap hit of $3.4 million, a staggering sum that could have handcuffed most teams. But did he buckle under the pressure of being the Devils’ new go-to guy? No way! Zubie’s going into the break sporting some pretty hefty point totals: 7g 14a (21p). Dude, if he was a defenseman, he’d be kicking ass! And defense is just about the only position he hasn’t played this season (oh, and goaltender, too. But point us to the skater who has…); Zubrus has been like a 6’5″ Sergei Brylin, making him the biggest interchangeable part we’ve ever seen. So while he might be 151 slots out of first in the Art Ross race, he’s totally played in every position on every line for the Devils. And not just because Coach Sutter had a hard time finding a place where Zubrus would be effective. So that’s why Zubrus gets our pick to be the starting All-Star center — he plays anywhere and everywhere the Devils ask him to, showing a hell of a lot more utility than Gomez ever did, and Gomez was an All-Star, wasn’t he?
“Fans’” pick: Sidney Crosby
Are you serious? Sid Crosby? Has he ever been asked to play wing on the fourth line? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Furthermore, is Sid even half as tall as Zubrus? Yeah, we didn’t think so either. Sure, he’s got more points (18g 41a [59p]), but are the “fans” really that shallow? After the way he was leading the league in scoring last season, we kind of expect more than just 4th overall from Sid, but we guess we’re the only ones. Considering the way the NHL is force-feeding us “The Kid”, with his stupid flashy, innovative playing style, and his dumb Hart and Art Ross Trophies last year, and his leading the Penguins to the playoffs after carrying them on an ungodly tear through the second half of last season, we suppose it’s to be expected that some “fans” would ignorantly “vote” for him just because his name rings a bell for them. Seriously, it’s as if getting named an All-Star starter is like winning a popularity contest or something.
Our pick: Patty Elias
Okay, unlike Zubrus, Patty Elias was actually on the All-Star ballot, so we’re that much more outraged that he wasn’t selected. He’s got 9 goals and 15 assists, for an eye-popping 24 points. Sure, you’re thinking 24 points really isn’t that great, especially considering Patty’s ostensibly the Devils’ “best” skater. But you’ve got to consider the mitigating factor here — Patty was stripped of his C by Sutter. Some players would have sulked. Others would have demanded a trade. Still others would have slapped Sutter with a glove then demanded to meet him with pistols at dawn. But not Patty. He acted like a true All-Star, breaking out of his season-long slump immediately after the C was awarded to Langenbrunner, and then proceeded to slip right back into a new slump. Some might call him “inconsistent” (which is a polite way of saying “overpriced”), but we disagree; Patty is very consistent — consistently maddening, that is. And in an exhibition like the All-Star Game, what you need more than anything is a player who can bring out some passion in the fans. We feel very passionately about Patty, and that’s why he gets the nod.
“Fans’” pick: Vincent Lecavalier
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Has anyone been watching the Lightning this year? They blow. How anyone could have voted for Lecavalier is completely beyond us. He might be leading the league in scoring, but the guy’s team is a train wreck. It’s a joke he got picked; it’s like this is all just some big popularity contest.
Our pick: Arron Asham
We love surprises. We love pleasantness. So it goes to figure that we love pleasant surprises. And so should the “fans” who are “voting” on the All-Star starters. But noooooo. This year the “fans” seem to hate surprises, pleasantness, decency, kittens, chocolate and everything else that’s good in this world, because they “voted” for this guy:
“Fans’” pick: Daniel Alfredsson
Has everyone forgotten what a classless goon he was in the Stanley Cup Final, when he tried to lower himself to within shouting distance of the Ducks’ collective classlessness by shooting a puck at Scott Niedermayer’s chest? Wait. Is this selection just everyone’s way of saying they, too, would like to shoot a puck at Scott Niedermayer’s chest? Because we wouldn’t mind doing that. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to let our All-Star vote get into bed with a guy like Daniel Alfredsson. He’s got an entire team of super-champions skating with him. Remember, it wasn’t all that long ago that the Ottawa papers were planning to do day-by-day comparisons between this year’s Sens and the 1976-77 Canadiens, and we were being led to believe there was no greater collection of hockey talent in the universe than the Senators roster. So what is up with the “fans” pulling Alfredsson out of that incomparably gifted pile of players? Is it because he’s the captain? Because he got lots of press last Spring during their playoff run? Because he’s the “biggest name” on the team? Is the starting lineup of the All-Star Game no more than a popularity contest?
Our pick: Johnny Oduya
Going into this season the Devils were faced with a difficult conundrum — where to get the offense from the blueline that Brian Rafalski took with him when he trounced off to the greener pastures (smirk) of Detroit. Turns out that was one problem with an easy solution. Enter Johnny Oduya. He’s so had the hot stick, he can’t even hold on to it! ZING! Seriously, let’s look at the numbers while pitting him against the…
“Fans’” pick: Zdeno Chara
In 35 games this year, Oduya’s been good for 7 points. Chara, meanwhile, has chalked up 26 points in 42 games. For starters, right there we can see who’s better. See, Oduya’s been “good” and Chara’s been “chalk”; chalk’s just nasty. Morevoer, if we dig a little deeper we’ll see that Oduya’s scored all 7 of his points in 22 games. Let’s see, 22 divided by 7… carry the one… and we get 3.15. 42 divided by 26… let’s see here… nets us 1.6 HA! 3 is clearly bigger and better than 1 and thus Oduya is clearly the All Star here. It makes us wonder how Chara, who’s been an All Star reserve 3 times prior, got selected at all. What, is Chara just more popular than Oduya? Is that why more fans voted for him than the flashy young Devils defenseman?
Our pick: Sheldon Brookbank
You’re asking “Sheldon Whobank?” We can hear you. You have no idea who this hidden gem of a player is. Admit it! TELL US WHEN! Alright, fine, we’ll let you off the hook on this one because he’s only appeared in just over half of the games played this year by the Devils, and even then he was skating as the seventh defenseman. But here’s why we think this 4-point hero deserves to skate out with the stars in Atlanta this year: we distinctly — okay, somewhat — alright, more like foggily remember him scoring a game-winning goal against the Flyers. In our memories he’s a Flyer killer. Everyone hates the Flyers. Ergo, everyone loves Brookbank. The fact that those 4 points are — [thumbs through dusty ledgers brimming with statbits] — zero goals and four assists shouldn’t belittle what we believe to be true.
“Fans’” pick: Andrei Markov
Andrei Markov has never done anything in our memories. Ever. In fact, we were pretty sure his name was Danny until the line-up was announced. Brookbank + 1 big imaginary goal > Markov + zero imaginary goals. So how is it that this joker (Who wears sweater number 79? Jokers! That’s who!) gets the fame and glory of being an All-Star starter, his name forever etched in the silver rings of… um… wait, what do All-Star Starters get? A big novelty check and no vacation? Whatever it is Markov’s getting, he’s only getting it because of the sham that is All-Star voting. It’s almost as if these “votes” are “voted on” based on which players the “voters” think are the most popular. It makes us sick.
Our pick: Marty Brodeur
He is the greatest goalie to ever breathe. And we say that as totally unbiased observers, not as Devils fans. We’re bloggers, yo. We can leave the fandom at the door. Perhaps the most miraculous stat Marty’s pulled out this year is that he’s gone from being unconscionably putrid at the start of the season to kick-assedly awesome now. No, we don’t have numbers to back that up. But we’re bloggers, yo. We’re better than numbers.
“Fans’” pick: Marty Brodeur
Well, at least the “fans” “voted” correctly on one position. Although if they’d manage to get all six starters wrong, we’d probably have had to ask the government to intervene, either by mandating a more accurate All-Star starting line-up, or exterminating all these “fans” who are clearly too stupid to live. Because really, this is the All-Star Game. It is not a popularity contest.
Do not even get us started on the starters the “fans” “voted in”. Looking at these names we have to wonder if the “fans” even know there’s an Eastern Conference, too. Hello? Western Conference bias much? Gah. It’s like it’s just one big popularity contest or something.