NHL.com Staff All-Star Picks
Tim Thomas, Bruins --
So you want to make the game more meaningful and more competitive? Well, put the most competitive guy in the League between the pipes. Thomas is a battler without an off switch. He'll make things interesting. Oh by the way, he just happens to be the best goalie in the League right now.
Nicklas Lidstrom, Red Wings --
First off, if I were picking captains for any team -- including this year's NHL All-Star Game teams -- Lidstrom would be on the top of a very short list. So, he has that going for him. And, lest we forget, he is averaging better than a point per game as a 40-year-old.
Duncan Keith, Blackhawks --
Yes, the plus/minus is quite atrocious. We all know that. But I'm a firm believer that All-Star nods should be handed out after measuring present performance with past accomplishments. As a result, Keith's spectacular 2009-10 season -- which featured an Olympic gold medal, a Norris Trophy and a Stanley Cup title -- trumps an up-and-down start to 2010-11.
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals --
The "Great 8" is my left wing on virtually any team I would be asked to construct. The Russian power forward virtually can do it all when it comes to hockey skills. Plus, his ability to be the biggest personality in the room is just what is needed at a showcase like the NHL All-Star Game. He'd likely be my other captain.
Teemu Selanne, Ducks --
Although he is playing like he has at least another five seasons in his tanks, there is a valid school of thought that this is the swan song for the Finnish Flash. Well, consider this a going-away present for one of the game's classiest players. But this is no lifetime achievement vote, mind you. Selanne is second on the Ducks in scoring and is on pace to break the 80-point barrier as a 40-year-old. That's an all-star in my book any day.
Sidney Crosby, Penguins --
This was a hard one. I wanted to put Steven Stamkos
on the starting six (Can we call it the Original 6?) in the worst way, but he would have had to beat out Crosby and that is not happening quite yet. The two young centers are neck-and-neck in the scoring race, but Crosby has the longer track record. The nod, for me, goes to the more-established Penguin.