Since November 15th, hockey fans have had their chance to vote-in starters for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, North Carolina. We’ll give you the occasional voting update, as fans have until January 3, 2011 to select six players (three forwards, two defensemen and one goalie) who will act as something of a fans’ First All-NHL Team.
As you can see from various results, write-in candidates made strong showings but the Pittsburgh Penguins have been particularly strong in earning high quantities of votes.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 in fan votes among forwards (the top three are highlighted to represent who would make it if the voting ended today, while write-in candidates include an asterisk).
(Note: all voting information comes via NHL.com.)
So the top three forwards are Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Steve Stamkos. Evgeni Malkin is less than 8,000 votes behind Stamkos (who deserves to be in the top three more than Malkin based on this season’s results) while Alex Ovechkin is shockingly seated at number five. The best write-in candidate among forwards is Claude Giroux with 175,008 votes.
Let’s take a look at the top five defensemen next.
Interestingly enough, the top defenseman is a write-in candidate in the form of Kris Letang. Duncan Keith holds a narrow lead over Chris Pronger for the second spot while Nicklas Lidstrom has a reasonable chance to catch up.
Dustin Byfuglien might be the biggest snub along the blueline; he ranks number 10 among defensemen with 116,459 votes despite leading all D in scoring by at least six points with 32 on the season.
Finally, let’s take a look at the top five goalies, with the would-be fan vote winner highlighted.
Not sure why Price or Fleury needed to be write-in candidates in the first place (one being the savior in Montreal, the other with a Stanley Cup on his resume), but fans fixed that problem with their votes. It’s interesting to see that Sergei Bobrovsky’s hot start hasn’t been lost on fans, either.
To review, if the voting stayed the same, the top six roster would look like:
Forwards: Crosby, Toews and Stamkos
Defensemen: Letang and Keith
So, as you can see, the Penguins (and Blackhawks) did well while write-in candidates also prospered. Again, you can still vote until January 3rd, so click here to cast your ballot.