Friday, January 09, 2004

All-Star Starters Announced

The Western Conference All-Star Game starters are Marty Turco G, Rob Blake D, Nicklas Lidstrom D, Todd Bertuzzi F, Bill Guerin F, and Mike Modano C. The East is Martin Brodeur G, Scott Niedermayer D, Scott Stevens D, Ilya Kovalchuk F, Martin St. Louis F, and Joe Thornton C. I will critique the West picks now, realizing that fans chose the players and they aren't necessarily scientific or a reflection of being the best goaltender or center or whatever. Turco is a good choice, but Ozzie or Cujo deserve consideration for the full roster, because they could've easily been starting goaltenders as well. Ozzie especially. He's really had a strong season and established himself with the Blues after a relatively short and turbulent stay on Long Island. Turco is a University of Michigan graduate, so I'm fine with him being a starter. Blake is second in NHL scoring with 31 pts, but I can't comment on his defensive play this season because I just don't watch that many non-Wings games. But he's probably an OK choice. Lidstrom is a bad choice based on his play this season, but he still is popular in name and definitely matches Blake. Schneider deserved consideration and would easily rank up there with Blake and Nick. He should be a lock on the full roster if there is any justice. Bertuzzi is an iffy pick, with Datsyuk and Hull both better in pts. Bert' only has 11 goals, and has just racked up assists. Thumbs down. It was Hullie's goal drought in the later stages of voting that killed his chances. Guerin came out of nowhere to get the other forward spot I thought. Don't think he deserves it. And Modano is probably the worst pick of a starting center I've seen, in either conference, ever. The guy is -19 plus/minus as a captain, and only 8 goals and 17 assists in 40 games. Definitely not Modano numbers. He's still failed to adjust to his new leadership position after the departure of Derian Hatcher in the offseason, and his team has followed him into lousy play. The Stars have three starting players, but they only have 44 pts and are second in the now-lowly Pacific to San Jose. Not too impressive. And despite the Wings' 3-0 loss to the Bruins, Dave Lewis will coach the West, while Toronto's Pat Quinn will coach the East. The appointments were based on points percentage after Thursday's games. The assistant coaches are Marc Crawford for the West and Ken Hitchcock for the East. I guess the Wings should feel lucky that the blown game didn't knock Lewie out of the head coaching spot. Coming into the game, he was guarenteed one of the two West spots no matter what though.


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