With 95% of NHLers settling in for a brief hibernation, some of the league's best and brightest have descended on Columbus' Nationwide Arena for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game.
Two of the Canadiens best talents, P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty, haven't made the trip to Ohio. Despite Subban's goal total, which is one short of the league lead among defencemen, and his status as a possession monster, he'll be resting on an island somewhere instead of streaking through the skills competition. It seems silly that the NHL would deprive themselves of putting one of their most marketable properties on display, but from a Habs-centric perspective, it's probably better that he rest, anyway. Pacioretty, meanwhile, the NHL's 11th best scorer in terms of goals per game, and has cemented his reputation this year as a consistent, if underrated, weapon on the wing. Sadly (depending on how you look at it), that reputation was not enough to earn a berth in the annual midseason spectacle.
That means that thee Canadiens standard will be borne by their superstar goaltender, Carey Price, as he is the only Hab to make this year's main event. Price is the clear gem in a All-Star field that includes Roberto Luongo, Marc-Andre Fleury, Brian Elliott, and Jaroslav Halak. Price's strongest competition for the Vezina, Pekka Rinne, and the most recent Vezina winner, Sergei Bobrovsky, will each sit out due to injury.
There is one other element of Canadien participation, as Jiri Sekac will participate as a member of the all-rookie team. Sekac has been a pleasant surprise, living up to lofty expectations since his signing out of the KHL as a free agent this summer. Sekac joins the event alongside prodigious rookie scorers Johnny Gaudreau and Mike Hoffman, and top prospects Jonathan Drouin and Aaron Ekblad.
Before the players step on the ice for the skills competition tomorrow, and then for Sunday's centrepiece, they'll be divided into two teams. Let's break down the details.
How to watch
Start time: 8:00 PM ET
In Canada (French): TVA
In Canada (English): Sportsnet
In the US: NBCSN
Live Stream: Right here
The Draft Format
- A coin flip decides who picks first - Team Nick Foligno (coached by the always mellow Darryl Sutter) or Team Jonathan Toews (coached by a hopefully calmer Peter Laviolette)
- Each team will end up with three goalies, six defencemen, and twelve forwards
- In order to avoid the last few picks taking place solely to fill the positional requirements, all goalies must be picked by the end of Round 10, and all defencemen must be selected by the end of Round 15
- The six rookies will be split into two groups of three. After the 11th round, another coin flip will determine who gets dibs on picking their first year talent
We'll update the draft results as they come in, starting at 8:00 PM ET.
|Nick Foligno||Captain||Jonathan Toews|
|Drew Doughty||Assistant||Rick Nash|
|Patrick Kane||Assistant||Ryan Getzlaf|
|Ryan Johansen||Round 1||
Phil Kessel (traded)
|Duncan Keith||Round 2||Shea Weber|
|Anze Kopitar||Round 3||Jakub Voracek|
|Steven Stamkos||Round 4||Corey Crawford|
Tyler Seguin (traded)
||Round 5||John Tavares|
|Carey Price||Round 6||Roberto Luongo|
|Claude Giroux||Round 7||Brent Seabrook|
|Dustin Byfuglien||Round 8||Vladimir Tarasenko|
|Marc-Andre Fleury||Round 9||Patrice Bergeron|
|Brian Elliott||Round 10||Jaroslav Halak|
|Brent Burns||Round 11||Aaron Ekblad|
|Kevin Shattenkirk||Round 12||Patrik Elias|
|Bobby Ryan||Round 13||Ryan Suter|
|Radim Vrbata||Round 14||Mark Giordano|
|Oliver Ekman-Larsson||Round 15||Justin Faulk|
|Zemgus Girgensons||Round 16||Tyler Johnson|
|Alex Ovechkin||Round 17||(no selection)|
|Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||Round 18||Filip Forsberg|