Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vote for Letang to be an NHL All Star for 2011 in Raleigh, NC


Over The Boards: Letang For All-Star

Good news for anyone who is still hung over from the mid-term elections, the NHL All-Star ballots are out and the voting has begun. As expected, the usual cast of characters is represented on the ballots including Sid and Geno for the Penguins. But as usual, there are several players on the list that are only there because of their name and not because of their performance. And naturally, that means there are too many players that are having a great year not on the ballot. Let’s hear it for the write-in vote!

There are numerous fan sites throughout the NHL starting campaigns to get their chosen player the write-in vote. Thanks to the guys over at The Confluence, there is already a groundswelling to get Kris Letang to the All-Star game. Often, these write-in players are good, but not deserving to get to the All-Star game ahead of the guys on the ballot, but Tanger is definitely an exception.

Letang is easily having the best season of his career and is quickly becoming the best defenseman on the Penguins. He is currently tied for second on the team in points with Malkin and is tied with Gologoski for the best plus/minus. But that is just his standing on the team. Tanger is also tied for second with Nicklas Lidstom for points among defensemen in the NHL.

But that is just how he looks on paper. On the ice he has been even more impressive and Wednesday’s game against the Canucks was a perfect example. Letang was all over the ice against the Canucks and was integral in limiting their potent offense to only one goal. It seemed like every time there was a crucial defensive play in the Pens zone, Letang was a part of it. He prevented at least two goals in front of Fleury and had the Pens transition game as dangerous as it used to be.

And that game was not a one-time occurrence. Letang has been a leader on defence all season for the Penguins and has been a great contributor on offense as well. After Sergei Gonchar left during the summer, the big question was who would replace him as the defensive leader on the team. A lot of people looked to our newly acquired veterans, but it looks to me that Letang has decided it should be him. So far this season, I agree.

So I am here today to urge you to get out and vote. The All-Star game is still a point of pride among NHL players and it is important to all of us that the most deserving players are their to represent the league. Way too often in professional sports All-Stars are chosen because they have been a fan favorite for many years and that’s who the casual fan knows. If Derek Jeter is having a bad season, I know all of the Yankee crazies are still voting for him. And for all of the people that don’t watch baseball closely, they will vote for him because they recognize the name.

The All-Star game is supposed to be about rewarding those players having great seasons for their contributions, not a reason to gather all of the high profile players. So when you are going through the ballot, don’t just pick your favorite player by name. Take the time to check out their stats and see just how good they are this year because there is a good chance someone else has been playing better.

Oh yeah, and vote Letang!

Let’s Go Pens!

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