NHL All-Star Games: The composition of the Metropolitan is different from previous years, because Ovechkin, Crosby and Eugene Malkin are not participating in this season. Ovechkin was selected, but decided not to play. The team was forced to make more changes due to the absence of injuries to several players, including Jake Gunsel from Pittsburgh and Artemy Panarin from New York Rangers.
This leaves the Penguin quarterback Chris Lethang captain Metropolitan as he is one of two players with five or more All Star appearances. Washington goalkeeper Braden Holtby is different.
Defender of the capital John Carlson, who is the defender with the most points in the NHL, could be the key to defeating the Atlantic. Carlson has 10th place overall with 60 and third with 47 assists, 13 more than the next best defender.
A pair of young stars could try to fill the void left by Ovechkin, Crosby and Malkin. Travis Konechni from Philadelphia is one game removed from the game with two goals, and he has three goals and two assists in his last five matches.
New Jersey’s Nico Hishier is one goal away from his 50-year score in three seasons, and he has 12 goals and 17 assists in the current campaign. Carlson, Letang, and Columbus Seth Jones have a lot of defense experience in the Metro, and they may be the key to stopping some of the attacking moves in a wide-open game with two smaller ice skaters.
David Perron, Ryan O’Reilly, Alex Pietrangelo and Jordan Binnington will represent the current Stanley St. Louis Blues Cup champion on home ice on Saturday. Last time, when the Central Division had the advantage of a home on ice in the All-Star Game, it lost to the 9-6 Pacific semifinal team in Nashville in 2016.
In fact, last year’s event marked the first time that the Central Staff had done this for the championship, which he had lost to the Metropolitan. While the four will receive the loudest applause at the Enterprise Center, Nathan McKinnon of Colorado may be the most important player on the list.
McKinnon is the center’s top scorer with 30 goals, which is the fourth best in the NHL, and he is third in points with 72 thanks to his 42 assistants. The four-time All-Star, who also serves as the team captain, should be involved in tons of attack pressure when he is on ice.
Chicago-based Patrick Kane, who leads all players in nine all-star matches, should go well with McKinnon. He is the only other central player in the top 10 on points with 63. With Duller, Tyler Segin and Eric Staal of Minnesota, who play in their sixth All-Star Game, Central has the most experienced roster since only Perron and Binnington make their debuts.
The Pacific squad has the best one-two out of four squads in Edmonton Connor McDavid and Leon Dreisaitle. McDavid leads the league with 76 points out of 27 goals and 49 assists. Draisaitl is one point behind his teammate with 75 points from 27 counts and 48 assistants.
A pair of Oilers has the greatest potential to take on the “three by three” format, as there will be plenty of room for creativity. After them there will be a decline in production, as Elias Pettersson from Vancouver is the only other Pacific player in the top 15 on points.
Petersson and Max Pacioretti from Vegas are the only other top 25 scorers on the team, along with McDavid and Dreisaytle. Thomas Hurtle of San Jose and Anse Copitar of Los Angeles are experienced players who could advance in the second standings after the mandatory duet of Edmonton,
Pacific may surprise some with its goalkeeper game, as David Rittich from Calgary and Jacob Markstrom from Vancouver are in the top 10 wins and have a save percentage of over 0.900. Flames quarterback Mark Giordano, who makes his third All-Star appearance and is in his 14th season in the NHL, could be a factor X in stopping the transitional steps and providing support in the attack zone.