Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kesler and Sedins are All-Stars

The NHL has released the complete All-Star roster for the 2011 All-Star Game and, in a move that I'm sure is shocking to everyone, they picked the right players from the Vancouver Canucks. Both of the Sedins will play, after just Henrik was picked back in 2008. Joining Daniel and Henrik will be Ryan Kesler, whose career-year pace has not gone unnoticed. I'm very excited to see Kesler take the All-Star Game very, very seriously.

While arguments could be made for both Roberto Luongo and Alexander Edler, it's difficult to argue with the selections made. For the most part, the NHL seems to have gotten it right. It's a little baffling that Henrik Zetterberg is absent and that only one goalie was selected from the Western Conference, but with the necessity of fitting in at least one player from every team, it's understandable to see one or two notable absences. It happens every year. Having to squeeze in players from the cellar-dwelling Oilers, Leafs, Islanders, Senators, Panthers and Devils means some very good players from top teams will be absent. Except, of course, that the Islanders and Panthers, as well as the Sabres and Coyotes, will only have rookies and sophomores participating in the All-Star festivities and no players in the actual game.

I, for one, am just glad they selected Ryan Kesler. The Sedins were obvious choices and it would have been very easy for them to select the Sedins and move on from the Canucks, leaving room for another forward. I'm thankful they didn't, as Kesler has been one of the best players in the NHL over the first half of the season and has the potential to reach elite status if he can improve his numbers over the second half.

Some might argue that with his offensive outburst this season combined with his usual strong defensive play, he's already there. I hate to say it, but I disagree. With Manny Malhotra stepping in for the majority of the defensive zone faceoffs and the toughest competition, Ryan Kesler is being asked to do a lot less defensively, which has majorly contributed to his offensive production this year. Many were surprised when NHL.com suggested that Malhotra, not Kesler, was a frontrunner for the Selke, but they're absolutely right, or at least should be. The Selke will likely come down to a reputation-based award once again, instead of actually rewarding the best defensive forward from the 2010-11 season, in which case it may actually go to Kesler (which I wouldn't cry about), but Manny Malhotra should be in consideration.

In any case, Kesler and the Sedins are All-Stars. And you know what that means...McDonald's hockey cards! Oh wait, nevermind. McDonalds apparently doesn't do hockey cards anymore, which is the saddest thing I've heard today.

With the assumption that Kesler will take part in the fastest skater competition, what parts of the skills competition would you like to see the Sedins participate in?


  1. There should be some sort of "tape to tape passing through 3205 players" comptetition. Sedins would win that easily

  2. a crisp and concise article concerned less with displaying one's ability to write than with conveying valid opinions. well done, my son.

  3. And that is why Canada is the most awesome country on the planet, hockey cards @ McDonalds! I'm jealous.
    I would like to see Daniel do the shot accuracy thing with Henrik making the passes. Hank on the breakaway challenge.

  4. I think the All-Star thing is a bit of a subpar, overrated event, but I'm pleased to see the NHL acknowledge the Canucks with some well-earned respect.

  5. I may not have been clear: McDonalds hockey cards are no more. I need to edit the original post for that and other reasons...

  6. Odd that they didn't have Luongo, since he was in the commercial.

  7. Speaking of McDonalds/Hockey tie-ins, does anyone remember their Hockey Hero sandwich? I think it came out for the 98 Olympics, but also re-relaesed it in Canada for one of the All-Star games. It was on a sub bun, had 3 big mac patties, cheese, lettuce, tomato, bac sauce, and it came in their poutine container.

    Man, that was a delicious burger.

  8. i want a playing on crutches competition, i need to see if Kesler COULD actually do it
    obviously Jim Robson would do the play by play.

  9. I want Henrik and Daniel in the 3-0 competition, and they may only have one west goalie, but certainly Pavelec deserved it more than Hiller or Lundqvist. I am disappointed at that choice. Otherwise good choices, and I am happy to see Kesler there with the Sedins.

  10. Am I the only one that is looking forward to the team selection process? I could easily see Henrik and Daniel on a different team...
    Captain 1 - "Henrik"
    Captain 2 - "Oh no... You're not getting them both, Daniel"
    And Daniel upon getting selected second again is Out For Blood.

  11. Neal, that is a hilarious and highly likely scenario.

  12. What if Henrik is a captain, and snubs Daniel?

  13. I think we Canuck fans are looking forward to the team selection more than any other group of fans, because all desperately want to see the Sedins against each other. Face it - they're never going to play for separate teams. This looks to be the highest level of competition they will ever possibly play against each other, and frankly, it's going to neat to see.

    I just hope we don't see one team get them both. You think they dominate games now? Just imagine if they have an elite finish man (no knock on Burrows) and a complete lack of any physicality in their way.


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