The NHL has announced that Alex Ovechkin has been named to its 2013 All-Star team.
Check that — teams.
Ovechkin, the Hart Trophy winner as league MVP, received enough votes from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association to earn the right wing spot on the first team…and enough votes to earn the left wing spot on the second team.
The news, as you’d expect, has drawn some criticism:
Larry Brooks, New York Post
Craig Custance, ESPN
Stephen Whyno, Canadian Press
Nick Cotsonika, Yahoo!
This development overshadowed the fact other players were awarded for their achievements this season (and no, not every spot went to Ovechkin).
Here are the All-Star Teams:
G: Sergei Bobrovsky
D: P.K. Subban
D: Ryan Suter
RW: Alex Ovechkin
C: Sidney Crosby
LW: Chris Kunitz
G: Henrik Lundqvist
D: Kris Letang
D: Francois Beauchemin
RW: Martin St. Louis
C: Jonathan Toews
LW: Alex Ovechkin
In case you’re curious, the PHWA did send out an email to members specifying that Ovechkin had been playing right wing this season.
So, on the premise left wing votes were erroneous, it’s Edmonton’s Taylor Hall getting the shaft. He finished third among all left wingers in voting, with 205 — 12 fewer than Ovechkin.
There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.
This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.
Carr has no prior NHL experience.
The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.
In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.
This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.
Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.
Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.
With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.
It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.
Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.
The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.
Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.
They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.
This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.
You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.
With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.
Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).
In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:
Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.
Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.
So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.
The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.
No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.
He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.