UPDATE: Who Will be the New York Rangers 2018 All Star?
Yesterday I broke down which New York Rangers were, and were not worthy of a vote for the 2018 NHL ALL STAR Game in January.
After the opinion piece was posted, the NHL opened the FAN VOTE, giving us the power to chose each division’s Captain, and dictate who, from the NHL.com predetermined selection, from each team makes the cut.
I broke down and took a look at Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh, Brady Skjei, Kevin Shattenkirk and Mika Zibanejad. In conclusion I predicted we would see either Shattenkirk and/or Zibanejad getting the vote and heading to Tampa the last weekend in January. Now it’s up to you! While it’s still to early to tell who will be voted in, let’s take a look at who on the New York Rangers the NHL deems worthy of a voting spot, and who will make the Roster.
Minus Skjei and Mac, Plus Nash
I wasn’t to far off…. Three out of five isn’t bad. The NHL.com editorial staff settled on Lundqvist, Nash, Shattenkirk, and Zibanejad for your New York Ranger voting choices. Voting helps decide who from each team is selected, and the player with the most overall votes per division is deemed Captain of their respective division. I predicted that Lundqvist will not make cut this year considering the All League Play and league leading numbers coming from Sergei Bobrovsky of Columbus, and other Metro Division keepers standing out between the pipes. As mentioned above, Shattenkirk and Zibanejad were, in my opinion, most likely to be awarded the votes. So, Rick Nash?
Nash and His Past
The New York Ranger’s Alternate Captain, Rick Nash is nothing short of an All Star Caliber Player. Earlier this season he tallied his 1,000 game and is one of the teams cornerstone leaders. With 7 goals and 6 assists in his 26 games played, his 13 point tally does not show what he’s done for the Rangers this season. The SIX TIME NHL All Star, (04,07,08,09,11′ and 15′) Nash has been invited to more All Star Games than any current New York Ranger. And, as previously mentioned in the original post- is one of only 4 different New York Rangers to play in an All Star Game since 2012.
How could I have missed this? Why did I not include him in the mix?
Quite frankly- because he’s not producing points at an All Star rate. Team leader? Yes. Dedicated, hard working performer? Absolutely. If Nash keeps up the fore checking, back checking, crashing the net hard nose style of play we’ve seen from him so far this season, I’d go as far as predicting him as a top candidate for the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award which is awarded, by the team, to the player who “goes above and beyond the call of duty both on and off the ice.” However, is that enough to land the seasoned veteran at the 2018 NHL All Star Game? I don’t think so. While we as the Blueshirt Faithful acknowledge and appreciate Nash’s efforts, his production numbers are not enough to represent the Metro Division this year.
No Skjei, No McDonagh?
No Problem- It was the fan in me that wanted to see Skjei up for an All Star Roster Spot. And I figured with landing a spot the last two All Star Games, McDonagh would be a shoe-in for the voting section, at least. I guess with the skill set of defensemen in the Metro division there was only room for one defensive Ranger representation- Kevin Shattenkirk. Will he get the vote? It’s up to you!
Metro Division votes and Captain?
As I mentioned earlier, your votes decide who out of the four selected New York Rangers will get to the 2018 NHL All Star Weekend, and could potentially be the Division’s Captain. Let’s recap on my predictions:
Henrik Lundqvist: To many hot goalies in the Division right now for Hank’s chance. He’ll Always be our All Star- But wont see the All Star Games this go around.
Rick Nash: A surprising pick by the NHL Editorial Staff, but a true All Star indeed. While he’s seen more All Star games than any active Ranger, I think he’ll be enjoying some time off in the last weekend in January.
Kevin Shattenkirk: Is the New York Rangers go to guy on the power play, and I think the go to vote to represent the Rangers at the 2018 NHL ALL Star Game. Will he get enough votes to wear the C for the Metro Division? I don’t think so, but I expect him in Tampa for the 63rd NHL ALL Star Game.
Mika Zibanejad: As I mentioned in my original post, Mika leads the Rangers in goals and points- and really has proved himself as the teams top line center. But with the saturation of known name, top line centers in the Metro Division, I think he’ll be left out looking in enjoying the NHL All-Star Skills Competition and the 3-3 tournament style NHL All-Star Game at home with Zucc and the rest of the boys.
Captain? While this is completely up to the fans, it’s only fair I make a prediction. Since I’m not considering any of the New York Rangers in the running for Metro Division captaincy I’ll go with Sergei Bobrovsky. I think voters will reward the Hasek like goaltending we’ve seen thus far, along with his league leading numbers to award the Goalie a C on his chest. Something you’ll only see at an All Star Game.
NHL.com’s pool of New York Ranger voting potentials proves my original point. The New York Rangers are not in possession of a true, Team Leading All-Star. Their success, or demise, is rooted on a collective effort. Which leads to an even more important question. At what point will the Rangers acquire their next true All Star? Through the draft, through a trade? Only time will tell, all we can do now is watch and root on the collective play of our New York Rangers. Leave your thoughts below, and Let’s Go Rangers!