Since November 15th, hockey fans have had their chance to vote for 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.
Last week, we mentioned the fact that people who hated the Pittsburgh Penguins wouldn’t be very happy with the results. That was because Evgeni Malkin joined Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang in the six-player fan voting group. Well, things look even worse for Pens-haters this week, as Marc-Andre Fleury joined that top six.
(Click here for the results, via NHL.com.)
Let’s start with the voting results for forwards, with the top three highlighted. The group is the same as last week, with Jonathan Toews sandwiched between Crosby and Malkin.
As I said last week, it’s surprising not to see Alex Ovechkin ranked higher and Steven Stamkos probably deserves more votes.
Next, here are the top five defensemen, with the two would-be starters highlighted.
So Letang and Keith remain in the top two, while Dustin Byfuglien remains far too low at number nine.
Finally, here are the top six goalies, as Jimmy Howard earned almost as many votes as the fifth place candidate. The would-be starter is highlighted.
It looks like it’s going to be a tight race between Fleury and Price going forward.
So, if the All-Star Voting ended today the starting six would be:
Forwards: Crosby, Toews and Malkin.
Defensemen: Letang and Duncan Keith.
Yup, that means that four out of the top six would be Penguins. Even the most blindly devoted Pens fan should admit that is too much, as Tim Thomas probably deserves more goalie votes while Malkin hasn’t had an All-Star caliber season.
Still, this is an event made to entertain fans (and sponsors), and they are speaking in favor of Pittsburgh right now. Will that remain until January 3rd? We’ll just have to wait and see.