November 13, 2008
As of this morning, Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco is last in the NHL in goals against average (3.75) and save percentage (.863), and the only reason he isn't last in goals surrendered is because Miikka Kiprusoff has played three more games. He's been the worst goalie in hockey this season. And he's second in the Western Conference in All-Star Game fan balloting right now.
The good news is that Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks is about 10,000 votes ahead; with his popularity and numbers this season, it's hard to conceive a situation where he wouldn't start for the West -- barring some perverse "Vote for the Worst" campaign to mock Turco's ineffectiveness by starting him in the ASG.
To the Dallas Stars fans: Seriously? Look, Web-savvy fans for every team are going to stuff the ballot box; on Day 2 of the voting, the Montreal Canadiens currently occupy every starting position in the Eastern Conference. And who wouldn't rather see Alex Tanguay start the game than Alexander Semin or Evgeni Malkin, right? Also Hab-tastic: Andrei Markov currently has more votes than Nicklas Lidstrom and Dion Phaneuf combined.
(UPDATE 10:18 a.m. EST: Moments after posting this, The Pensblog passed along this image of what it claims is a Canadiens' fan auto-voter program to stuff the ballot box. Your move, NHL.)
Back to Dallas: If you had to point to one reason why the Stars are two points out of the basement in the West, that reason's name is Marty Turco. Even as they're trying to rock the vote for Mike Ribeiro or Brenden Morrow, how can Stars fans honestly punch the card for Turco this season? If it's blind loyalty, then why does Stephane Robidas have 20,000 more votes than the oft-injured Sergei Zubov? What gives?
Well, at least if Turco's in there, we'll see more successful attempts in the trick-shot competition than last season ...
In other ASG fan voting news, it appears as though the insurgent candidacies of Tim Thomas and Aaron Ward of the Boston Bruins are legit. Thomas (15,285) is third in the Eastern Conference goalie voting, although Carey Price is running away with over 103,000 votes. Powered by a Boston radio show campaign, Ward is ninth on defense. Finally, only nine teams (or 18 overall in the NHL) are currently represented in either conference's fan voting.