|Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall is on the All-Star Game ballot this season for the first time in his career. (Photo by Dave Sandford) |
– The NHL released the name of those players, including four Red Wings, who will be on the ballot for the 2012 All-Star Game in Ottawa. Voting begins this Monday on NHL.com and will conclude Jan. 4.
The four Wings are defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom
and Niklas Kronwall
and forwards Henrik Zetterberg
and Pavel Datsyuk
. The four nominations is the lowest number of Wings since the 2006-07 season when Lidstrom, Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Mathieu Schneider made the ballot
For Kronwall, it’s the first time on the ballot in his seven NHL seasons.
“It's all about how you play. The best players always go,” said Kronwall, whose third goal of the season gave the Wings a 2-0 lead over Edmonton in the second period Friday.
“It's about taking care of business here and doing what I can to help our team,” Kronwall said. “If someone else feels you're worthy of going there then that's their call.
“It's an honor. I would be an honor to play in the All-Star Game, but in saying that this locker room is what's most important. I need to play well here to help our team win. If going to the All-Star Game goes along with that it would be great.”
Absent from the ballot are forward Johan Franzen
, who entered Friday leading the Wings in goals (8) and points (13), as well as goalie Jimmy Howard
, whose 1.70 goals-against average is fifth-best in the league. Forward Valtteri Filppula
, who leads the Wings with a plus-8 rating was also left off.
“I would think Mule and Fil could both be on it and Howie,” Kronwall said. “They've all had great starts to the year. I don't know who makes those ballots, but whoever is on it they must have a valid opinion.”Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill