The Opiated Sherpa is actually a big fan of the All-Star Game, believe it or not. Not just the game, but all of the festivities. So, when it comes to the whole weekend, the Sherpa does his share of coverage.
On Tuesday, the Eastern Conference voting is announced and there is no surprise when it comes to the leading vote getter.
Sidney Crosby (Benson) was the first overall Draft pick this year and his popularity doesn't just stem from points. Crosby has a big following all the way through the hockey world and we're all hoping that he puts on a big show in Atlanta this year.
I don't think anyone should be surprised to see Vincent Lecavalier (Stuart) or Daniel Alfredsson (Clayon) or even Martin Brodeur (Don) on the starting line-up either. The defensemen combo of Andrei Markov (John B.) and Zdeno Chara (Benson) looks like a tandem you would want to feed one-timer passes to.
Besides the starting line-up in the vote process, I think it'll be safe to say you'll see Ilya Kovalchuk (Peter), Dany Heatley (Jeff), Alexander Ovechkin (Clayton), Mike Richards (Benson) and Henrik Lundqvist (John P.) all suiting up for the East this January. It's a pretty talented Eastern Conference we're looking at this year.
On Wednesday, the Western votes are announced... and also to no one's surprise, it was the Red Wings that dominated the vote.
Nicklas Lidstrom (Benson) leads the way of all vote getters, which isn't terribly surprising, as he is one of the most popular defensemen in the NHL. Lidstrom leads teammate, Henrik Zetterberg (Wes) by a cool 100,000+ votes, which is a pretty substantial lead. The other Red Wing to sit in a starting line-up spot is Pavel Datsyuk (Stuart).
The other Western Conference possible starters all come from Canadian teams... Jarome Iginla (Aaron), Dion Phaneuf (Ryan) and Roberto Luongo (John B.). If you were to ask me, I would say that the starting fives of both conferences should be those that we'll see taking the ice in Atlanta for the opening face-off.
Other Western possibilities to play may look a little like this... Paul Statsny (Wes), Joe Thornton (Peter), Ryan Getzlaf (Aaron), Anze Kopitar (John B.) and Evgeni Nabokov (Wes).
I'm getting the feeling that we'll get a pretty entertaining All-Star Game this year... there is so much goal scoring talent, I'd hate to be a goalie in these games... or the Skills Competition.
NHL, Hockey, Hockey Pool