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All Decade

Crosby, Kane, Ovechkin among those selected to NHL All-Decade First Team

Defensemen Doughty, Keith, goalie Fleury other standouts from 2010-19 chosen by panel

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL All-Decade Team: 2010-19

NHL All-Decade: First, Second Team revealed

Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane and Alex Ovechkin lead the All-Decade First Team, while Patrice Bergeron and Erik Karlsson headline the Second Team

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Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Alex Ovechkin, Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty and Marc-Andre Fleury were selected to the NHL All-Decade First Team.

The six players, chosen by a panel of NHL general managers, NHL hockey operations staff, NHL.com writers, and on-air talent from NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports, won a combined 13 Stanley Cup championships from 2010-19.

"It's a great honor," Kane said at 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend in St. Louis. "Ten years is a long time to be a good player and it's a tribute myself being consistent but also the teams I've been playing on. I've played on some amazing teams. I'm very fortunate that some of our playoff runs, five conference finals, three Stanley Cups, some great years in there too. So, yeah, it's definitely a big honor."

Crosby, a center, and Fleury, a goalie, won with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. Kane, a forward, and Keith, a defenseman, were part of the Chicago Blackhawks' championship teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

Doughty, a defenseman, won with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 and 2014, and Ovechkin, a forward, won with the Washington Capitals in 2018.

"Ovi, Crosby, it would be a fun line to play on," Kane said.

The All-Decade Second Team is forwards Evgeni Malkin (Penguins), Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins) and Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning); defensemen Erik Karlsson (San Jose Sharks) and Zdeno Chara (Bruins); and goalie Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers).

For insight into the First Team, NHL.com spoke to former NHL forwards and current NHL Network analysts Ryan Callahan and Scott Hartnell, who played against the six throughout the decade.

Hartnell played for the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010, when Kane scored the Stanley Cup-clinching overtime goal in Game 6. Callahan was on the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015, when they lost to the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final.

 

Sidney Crosby

He averaged 1.25 points per game in the decade, first among players with at least 400 games played. He had 788 points (296 goals, 492 assists) in 630 games, second in the NHL behind Kane, who had 802 points (315 goals, 487 assists) in 742 games. Crosby led the NHL with 123 points (42 goals, 81 assists) in 115 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"It's a guy you always got excited to play against," Hartnell said, "and a guy that could bring you back to planet Earth real quick with one flick of his wrist or a no-look, behind-the-back pass."

But it was Crosby's defensive play for the Penguins that impressed Callahan the most.

"I don't think he gets enough credit for it," Callahan said. "And how good he is with his stick defensively. You go into a 1-on-1 battle with him, you know you're not going to get completely outmuscled by him, but he's so good with his stick, lifting sticks, taking pucks."

Hartnell said Crosby is the most complete player to come along in the NHL in a long time.

In addition to his statistics and championships during the decade, Crosby won the Hart Trophy voted as most valuable player and Art Ross Trophy as the top scorer in the NHL in 2013-14, and the Conn Smythe Trophy voted as playoff MVP in 2016 and 2017.

"He's one or two steps ahead of what you're thinking," Hartnell said. "He does what he's going to do before you think you know what he's going to do. He knows where everyone is, especially on his own team. He is always a step ahead of you."

 

Patrick Kane

In addition to leading the NHL in points during the decade, Kane was second behind Crosby in playoff points with 109 (41 goals, 68 assists) in 111 games.

He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2013 and the Hart and Art Ross trophies in 2015-16.

But Kane's most memorable moment occurred early in the decade, when he scored the Stanley Cup-winning overtime goal for the Blackhawks in Game 6 against Hartnell and the Flyers on June 9, 2010.

"He's been a special player right from his first game in the League until now, getting his 1,000th point," Hartnell said. "He's a guy that can stick-handle in a phone booth, has the speed, has the hockey IQ higher than 99.9 percent of the League. He's just a fun player to watch. When they needed a goal, the puck was always in his hands, and that led to three Cups for them."

Callahan said the Lightning's plan in the 2015 Cup Final was to hit Kane early and often to try to knock him off his game.

"I don't know if he got hit once in that whole series," Callahan said, laughing. "That's how creative he is and how good he is on his feet. He knows how to go into areas where he's not going to get hit and still be successful.

"There are things he can see on the ice that I think nobody else can see. The lanes, opportunities, willingness to make plays and passes that he makes look so easy. He doesn't get enough credit for those because it looks easy for him, whereas 99 percent of the League wouldn't be able to make that play."

Video: Goal of the Decade: Kane's Stanley Cup-winning goal

 

Alex Ovechkin

Ovechkin scored 437 goals in the decade, most in the NHL, and was third in points with 780, behind Kane and Crosby.

But the growth he showed throughout the decade is what left the biggest impression on Hartnell and Callahan.

"He's learned how to defend," Hartnell said. "Especially the year they won, it was more of a team concept for him than just him scoring and being on the offensive.

"Maybe he realized that if he didn't realize that he needed to work on that part of his game or be a more well-rounded player, he might not win the Stanley Cup. Give him a lot of credit for realizing. That comes from the coach, Barry Trotz, too. He had him dialed in and focused and held him accountable just as much as he held everyone else accountable."

Callahan, reluctantly, said he was happy for Ovechkin when the Capitals won the Stanley Cup in 2018. Washington defeated Callahan and Tampa Bay in a seven-game Eastern Conference Final that year.

"It was hard for me to see them win just because we lost to them, but stepping away from it, back from it … I just think he deserved it so much," Callahan said. "You could see how much he cared and how much he wanted it."

Video: WSH@VGK, Gm5: Ovechkin on winning his first Cup

 

Duncan Keith

Hartnell said he doesn't think the Blackhawks would have won any of their three Stanley Cup championships without Keith, who averaged 28:11 of ice time in the 2010 run, 27:37 in the 2013 run and 31:07 in the 2015 playoffs, when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy.

"He was such a calming factor, offensively, defensively, penalty kills, everything," Hartnell said. "He was the man out there."

Callahan and Hartnell each said Keith's ability to knock down pucks out of midair and quickly allow Chicago to transition to a rush game is one of the most impressive aspects about the way he plays.

"You'd always be like, 'Let's get this thing deep and they're tired,' but the next thing you know, it's knocked down, and the thing about hockey IQ, he knows where the guys are," Hartnell said. "Then it's right back in your end and you hear that stupid song (goal song "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis) in Chicago."

Callahan remembers facing the Blackhawks with the Lightning in the 2015 Cup Final, when Keith averaged 29:46 of ice time in that six-game series.

"It seemed effortless and casual, almost like he's not even trying or breaking a sweat," Callahan said. "That's even more frustrating as an opposing player seeing a guy like that who is effortlessly denying your opportunities. He makes it look like a Sunday skate in a beer league, yet it's 27 or 28 minutes in a Stanley Cup Final game."

 

Drew Doughty

Neither Callahan nor Hartnell had a playoff battle against Doughty, but each was able to admire his game from up close a few times a season and from afar often.

"A guy that you think you had in the corner on a forecheck and the next thing you know you're the one on your behind and he's skating the puck out, like galloping out there," Hartnell said.

Doughty was seventh among NHL defensemen in points with 439 (101 goals, 338 assists) in 772 games from 2010-19 and second at the position in total ice time in the decade (20,571:15) behind Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild (20,651:36).

He had 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) and averaged 26:09 of ice time in the Kings' 2012 championship run and had 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) and played 28:45 per game in the playoffs when they won the Cup in 2014.

"I had a chance to play with Doughty in juniors his rookie year in Guelph (of the Ontario Hockey League), and I remember when he came in there, within the first two weeks I said to my dad, 'This kid is going to be special,'" Callahan said. "Just watching him the first couple of weeks, I was very impressed. His skating, his skill, everything was off the charts. He's all over the ice. He's always in the play."

 

Marc-Andre Fleury

Fleury was first in wins (322), third in starts (543) and fifth in shutouts (43) among NHL goalies in the decade.

He was primarily the backup to Matt Murray in the Penguins' Stanley Cup run in 2016, but he played a big role for Pittsburgh in the 2017 playoffs, when he started 15 games and was 9-6-0 with a 2.56 goals-against average .924 save percentage and two shutouts.

"You come down and shoot, and it could be two different styles of goaltending for the same shot," Hartnell said. "He's very athletic, never out of a save. You think you have an empty net, you lollygag it in the net, and the next thing you know his stick is coming across or his long pads are coming across."

Fleury also helped the Vegas Golden Knights advance to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017-18, their inaugural season.

"When he went to Vegas, I'll admit it, I thought he was on the down side of it and I didn't expect him to do anything near what he's doing there," Callahan said. "The first year, he leads them to the Cup Final, and I was shocked. That competitiveness sets him apart."

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