This being an Olympic year, we're once again deprived of an NHL All-Star Game.
That's a shame, because last year's event in Montreal was a fairly successful and memorable one. Plus the annual exhibition weekend is a good time. We lose out on spiffy uniforms, moments of whimsy, voting scandals and a new collection of awkwardly wonderful studio portraits of players, like the well-coiffed Mr. Messier here from the early 1990s.
Although we do gain valuable seconds of our lives back from the clutches of the tedious "Young Stars" game ...
What we also lose are a collection of all-star selections for the 2009-10 season, at least officially. Eschewing the fan-driven selection of starters, TSN's panel of experts and Matthew Barnaby picked their theoretical 2010 all-star starters.
Outside of one egregious omission that's an example of systemic bias against one NHL star, they're actually pretty good.
First, the Western Conference, per TSN:
Only a couple of quibbles here. Drew Doughty(notes) of the Los Angeles Kings could, and probably should, be the other defenseman with Keith. He's only three points behind Boyle in scoring, has a better plus/minus and has been the leader on the blue line for the resurgent Kings.
(If the snub has anything to do with the LD/RD designation, then TSN is giving positional specificity a bit too much thought for an exhibition game.)
The other quibble, and it's a really a minor one, would be with bestowing the "seventh man" to Robidas when Joe Thornton(notes) (61 points) and Brad Richards(notes) (53 points) have the misfortune of playing the same position as Sedin in what's been a career year for the twin.
Barnaby has a dissenting opinion on Kiprusoff, claiming that Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) should be the starter based on where the Phoenix Coyotes are in the standings. Nevermind that Kiprusoff leads Bryzgalov in every stat except wins; or that the same argument could be successfully made for Craig Anderson(notes).
Meanwhile, in the East ...
Selecting the starting forwards for the East must have taken, oh, roughly the amount of time it takes a gnat to flap its wings once. We've obviously also made the case for Miller as the best goalie in hockey, too.
Green is playing better than a point-per-game ... as a defenseman. He's a plus-20, leads all defenseman in goals (12) and is tied for third in the NHL with 17 power-play assists. Myers is a great story, a revelation and quite possibly the frontrunner for the rookie of the year. But c'mon, an all-star over Green?
Well, at least Green was an all-star last season ... wait, what? Seriously?
Darren Pang said on TSN that Myers got the nod because of Barnaby's Buffalo-homerism. Let's hope so, because after the 2009 ASG and the Norris Trophy and Team Canada and the general denigration of his defensive game by (mostly Canadian) media, this dumping on Mike Green is becoming too commonplace.
Oh, sweet All-Star Game snub debates ... we'll see you again in 2011, old friends.