The makeup of the 2018 NHL All-Star Game is coming into focus with the weekend nearing on Jan. 28-29.
A few days ago, we learned that Alex Ovechkin (Metropolitan Division), Steven Stamkos (Atlantic), P.K. Subban (Central), and Connor McDavid (Pacific) would be the captains. The NHL announced the four coaches on Sunday:
Atlantic: Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning.
Central: Peter Laviolette, Nashville Predators
Metropolitan: Barry Trotz, Washington Capitals
Pacific: Gerard Gallant (pictured), Vegas Golden Knights
That group almost seems hand-picked. Cooper coaches the NHL-leading Lightning, who are hosting the event. Laviolette heads a Predators team fighting for the Central crown after making the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. Trotz is the bench boss for a Capitals team that is finding a way to dominate again, while Gallant plays a huge role in Vegas being one of the stories of the 2017-18 season.
Unlike fan-voted captains, there’s no subjectivity to the coaches being named, as the league goes by points-percentage for each division:
Cooper’s Lightning (.744, 29-9-3) posted the top points percentage in the Atlantic Division through games of Saturday, while Laviolette’s Predators (.659, 24-11-6), Trotz’ Capitals (.646, 25-13-3) and Gallant’s Golden Knights (.725, 28-10-2) similarly wrapped up the highest points percentages in the Central, Metropolitan and Pacific Divisions, respectively.
As a reminder, the 2018 NHL All-Star Game will follow the recent format of featuring 3-on-3 play and a three-game tournament. Each division’s roster will include six forwards, three defensemen, and two goalies.
The rest of the rosters (40 players beyond the four captains) will be announced on Wednesday. That will mark the most time-honored tradition for All-Star Games: complaining about snubs.
Watch the video below for more on the captains: