Saturday, December 10, 2011

San Jose Sharks: 5 Players That Deserve to Play in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, But Will Not

As it stands now, the San Jose Sharks will have a hard time getting one of their players into the 2012 NHL All-Star Game.

Currently, the most likely scenario would be Dan Boyle and Brent Burns earning defenseman spots on the Western Conference team. Boyle sits 17th (7th in Western Conference) in voting among defensemen and Burns sits 19th (8th in Western Conference).

Only Dan Boyle made it to the All-Star Game from the Sharks last season.

Here are the most deserving players on the Sharks who will not be playing on January 29.

5. Logan Couture

Despite an impressive sophomore season so far, it would seem that Couture will fall shy of the 2012 All-Star Game this year.

Couture is currently not available to vote for at Voters must add his name in themselves if they would like to see him on the ice on January 29.

Through 25 games this season, the 22-year-old has 11 goals and 9 assists. Those stats are good enough to make him a top-25 offensive player in the Western Conference this season, but not enough to thrust him into the 2012 All-Star Game.

4. Brent Burns

Burns made the Western Conference All-Star team last season as a member of the Minnesota Wild. This season, he is ranked No. 8 according to voters among defensemen. That puts him just on the border of seeing his name on the final roster.

Burns has four goals and five assists in 25 games played, but it is his +/- that should showoff what he means to whatever team he plays for. Currently, Burns has a +10.

The final votes will be close, but Burns simply does not have the stats to land in the show this year around.

3. Joe Thornton

Thornton last saw an appearance in the All-Star Game in 2010 when Todd McLellan was coach of the Western Conference. Last year, we saw the entire team get off to a slow, causing just one player from the Sharks (Dan Boyle) to make an appearance at the star-studded event.

Currently, Thornton has five goals and 18 assists through 25 games, making him a top-20 offensive player in the Western Conference this season.

However, Thornton is a no-show on the top-30 vote-getters for the 2012 All-Star Game among forwards.

I doubt we see his face in Ottawa on January 29.

2. Joe Pavelski

Pavelski's hot start has slowly declined, and now a player that was once easing into a top-10 offensive player spot is now limping into 2012.

His stats speak for themselves, with 12 goals and nine assists. The 12 goals ties him for sixth in the Western Conference so far this season.

Of course, the NHL may not notice the west coast for all it is worth these days, and Pavelski's stats do not necessarily suggest that he is a no-brainer to make the team in Ottawa.

In the end, I think we see Pavelski become one of the All-Star snubs in 2012.

1. Marc-Edouard Vlasic

Flying moderately under the radar is Vlasic, who has had a consistently superb season thus far. His accomplishments do go fairly unnoticed. He has two goals and 10 assists so far this season, which is light-years ahead of where his stats are usually at this time. He had just four goals and 14 assists all year last season.

He is also third among Western Conference defensemen at +13 in the +/- category. Yet, his name does not automatically appear on the 2012 All-Star Game ballot. You must fill him in yourself if you want him in Ottawa.

If anyone from the Sharks deserves to be in the 2012 All-Star Game in Ottawa, it is Vlasic, who has been the one stable force for the Sharks on defense and a growing star in the NHL among defensemen.

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