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PuckLuck's NHL All-Stars

Let's take a look at who on your favorite team REALLY deserves to be in the All-Star game.

We've said this before - our metrics are end-all-be-all. Ok, kidding aside, there were some pretty obvious snubs when it came to selecting this weekend's All-Star teams. So, I dove into the numbers to find which players really deserved to be in Las Vegas this weekend.

The NHL uses the parameters of having at least one player from each team represent in the game, so I stuck to that in the selections. This is a marketing event after all. I also had to balance the ratio of forwards to defensemen, so that added a wrinkle in things a bit.

As you know if you follow PuckLuck closely, we value defense as much as offense, since predicting outcomes in the NHL is all about goal-differential. However, that is not what the All-Star game is really about, since the fans want offensive-minded and flashy players.

So by this standard, I used PuckLuck's goals-for value (GFV) metric to come up with the proper selections (in my mind). This combines a player's offensive play in all situations - even-strength, powerplay, and shorthanded.

For goaltenders, our version of goals-saved above expected (GSAx) was the primary measurement in determining each division's representative.

Atlantic Divison

*GFV/60 in [brackets]

Boston Bruins

PuckLuck Selections: Patrice Bergeron [4.2] & Charlie McAvoy [3.6]

Actual Selection: Patrice Bergeron

This one is obvious. Bergeron's not only the top-ranked player by GFV on the team but also in the division. Defensive play doesn't apply in this case, but it's notable that he is also the best overall player this season so far by our metrics.

Charlie McAvoy also gets the nod here as the top offensive defenseman in the division this season. Brad Marchand [4.2] was barely edged out by Bergeron, leaving him as a big snub due to the lack of talent on some other teams.

Buffalo Sabres

PuckLuck Selection: Dylan Cozens [2.8]

Actual Selection: Rasmus Dahlin [2.6]

Buffalo has a lot on man-games missed this season, making this selection a little bit tricky. Jacob Bryson [3.2] is actually the GFV/60 leader on the team, but in 3rd-pair minutes. Alex Tuch [3.2] is the top forward per the metric, but doesn't have enough games played for that to feel right.

Cozens bests Dahlin here, but not by much. Both have struggled at times but the forward's strong transition game gives him the edge.

Detroit Red Wings

PuckLuck Selection: Lucas Raymond [2.9]

Actual Selection: Dylan Larkin [2.8]

While Larkin is the Wings' actual representative, rookie and fellow linemate Lucas Raymond has simply been a little better. Tyler Bertuzzi was in consideration as well.

Florida Panthers

PuckLuck Selections: Aleksander Barkov [3.8] & Sergei Bobrovsky [0.33 GSAx/60]

Actual Selection: Jonathan Huberdeau [3.7]

If I could send the entire Florida Panthers' team, I probably would. Their talent on every line made this really difficult. On top of this, Bobrovsky has been the best goalie in divsion all season.

In less minutes, rookie Anton Lundell [4.0] and Mason Marchment [3.9] have better per-60 offensive numbers, but Barkov is doing it against top competition, earning the nod.

Montreal Canadiens

PuckLuck Selection: Brendan Gallagher [2.8]

Actual Selection: Nick Suzuki [2.3]

Replacement-level GFV/60 is around 2.6, and Suzuki has been below that this season. Gallagher is much more justifiable despite missing some time, at 2.8.

Ottawa Senators

PuckLuck Selection: Josh Norris [3.0]

Actual Selection: Drake Batherson [2.9] (replaced by Brady Tkachuk [2.9])

Norris slightly tops defenseman Artem Zub [3.0], and his fellow linemates who both received recognition. Oddly enough, goalie Matt Murray [0.34] leads the division now in GSAx, after stringing together some really strong performances since being recalled from the AHL. We couldn't justify including him, however.

Tampa Bay Lightning

PuckLuck Selections: Victor Hedman [3.6] & Andrei Vasilevskiy [0.31 GSAx/60]

Actual Selections: Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos [3.6], & Andrei Vasilevskiy

They got this one right, except if three representatives are deserving from the Lightning then Brayden Point [3.8] should go over Stamkos, who was voted by the fans as last man in.

Toronto Maple Leafs

PuckLuck Selection: Auston Matthews [3.9]

Actual Selections: Auston Matthews & Jack Campbell [1.9 GSAx/60]

This was an obvious pick from the hop, but Rasmus Sandin [4.1] is actually topping Matthews on the team in GFV/60 if we discount minutes played and strength of competition.

Campbell's hot start has dwindled a bit as the season has worn on, so he did not make our cut.


*GFV/60 in [brackets]

Carolina Hurricanes

PuckLuck Selections: Sebastian Aho [3.5] & Frederick Andersen [0.44 GSAx/60]

Actual Selections: Sebastian Aho & Frederick Andersen

My selections mirror those of the actual here, but Seth Jarvis [3.6] is an ever-so-slight snub here in a dead-heat with Aho.

Columbus Blue Jackets

PuckLuck Selection: Zach Werenski [3.0]

Actual Selection: Zach Werenski

It probably comes as no surprise that Patrik Laine [3.2] is actually the top offensive player on the Blue Jackets this season. Werenski is the selection, however, considering his position.

New Jersey Devils

PuckLuck Selection: Jesper Bratt [3.7]

Actual Selection: Jack Hughes [2.7]

Bratt was a big snub. He ranks 5th in the entire divsion in GFV/60. In fact, there's about five or six Devils players we have ranked ahead of Hughes at this point, who clearly makes it in for name-recognition alone. One of those players is perhaps someone we snubbed as well, in Ryan Graves [3.4]. Surprisingly, he ranks as the top offensive-defenseman in the Metro.

New York Islanders

PuckLuck Selections: Kyle Palmieri [3.0]

Actual Selection: Adam Pelech [2.6]

To be fair, I don't think Pelech was selected for his offensive ability and the Isles have struggled. Palmieri and a slew of forwards on the team are just more deserving of the honor.

New York Rangers

PuckLuck Selections: Artemi Panarin [3.2] & Igor Shesterkin [0.84 GSAx/60]

Actual Selections: Chris Kreider [3.2] & Adam Fox [3.1] (replaced due to injury)

Arguing Panarin over Kreider here is arbitrary, as it comes down to decimal points in our ratings. Shesterkin, however, has been the best goalie in the NHL this season and yet is not going to the All-Star game. That simply shouldn't happen.

Philadelphia Flyers

PuckLuck Selection: Cam Atkinson [3.1]

Actual Selection: Claude Giroux [3.0]

Atkinson and Giroux have been linemates for most of the season, so it's hard to get upset at one over the other.

Pittsburgh Penguins

PuckLuck Selections: Sidney Crosby [4.0] & Kris Letang [3.4]

Actual Selections: Jake Guentzel [3.8] & Tristan Jarry [0.44 GSAx/60]

Crosby was oddly snubbed this season despite the name-recognition (perhaps due to his injury early on). Letang has been the second best offensive defenseman in the division.

Guentzel and Jarry both are posting strong seasons, they're just topped by others by our metrics.

Washington Capitals

PuckLuck Selection: Evgeny Kuznetsov [3.8]

Actual Selections: Alex Ovechkin [3.4] (replaced by Tom Wilson [3.0]) & Evgeny Kuznetsov (replacing Adam Fox)

This was an obvious pick from the hop, but Rasmus Sandin [4.1] is actually topping Matthews on the team in GFV/60 if we discount minutes played and strength of competition.

Central Division

*GFV/60 in [brackets]

Arizona Coyotes

PuckLuck Selection: Travis Boyd [3.0]

Actual Selection: Clayton Keller [2.6]

Perhaps not the name you'd expect here, but Boyd has stepped up his game and seized the top-line center role for the Coyotes this season.

Chicago blackhawks

PuckLuck Selection: Alex Debrincat [3.1]

Actual Selection: Alex Debrincat

A well-deserved first All-Star appearance for the Blackhawks forward. His runner-up was the chippy Brandon Hagel [3.0], but Debrincat has been the driving force of Chicago's offense this season.

Colorado Avalanche

PuckLuck Selections: Cale Makar [4.1] & Mikko Rantanen [3.7]

Actual Selections: Cale Makar, Nazem Kadri [3.6], & Nathan MacKinnon [3.8] (replaced due to injury)

The Avs are another team who could have numerous representatives, but Makar would certainly be unanimous. I selected Rantanen here to replace MacKinnon, who can't play due to injury.

Dallas Stars

PuckLuck Selection: Jason Robertson [4.2]

Actual Selection: Joe Pavelski [3.0]

It's amazing what Pavelski is accomplishing at age 37, but Robertson has been the best offensive player in a division that includes MacKinnon, Makar, and Kirill Kaprizov.

Minnesota Wild

PuckLuck Selection: Kirill Kaprizov [3.9]

Actual Selections: Kirill Kaprizov & Cam Talbot [-0.30 GSAx/60]

Kaprizov has been spectacular this season, so no argument there. The head-scratcher here is Talbot, who has not been up to par with a negative goals-saved above expected this season. If his selection is due to wins, I kindly remind you that wins are much better served as a team stat, not a goalie stat.

Nashville Predators

PuckLuck Selections: Roman Josi [3.0] & Juuse Saros [0.29 GSAx/60]

Actual Selections: Roman Josi & Juuse Saros

Identical selections here, as both as well deserving. Next.

St. Louis Blues

PuckLuck Selection: Robert Thomas [3.6]

Actual Selections: Jordan Kyrou [3.3]

Kyrou is having a strong season no doubt, but the driving force behind his line's success is actually Thomas. The pass-first center has emerged as the top offensive player on the Blues this season.

Winnipeg Jets

PuckLuck Selections: Kyle Connor [3.6] & Connor Hellebuyck [0.17 GSAx/60]

Actual Selection: Kyle Connor

Connor's been outstanding offensively this season, earning a trip to Vegas. In my opinion Hellebuyck has been the second-best goalie in the division and deserves the honor as well.

Pacific Division

*GFV/60 in [brackets]

Anaheim Ducks

PuckLuck Selections: Trevor Zegras [3.4] & John Gibson [0.57 GSAx/60]

Actual Selections: Troy Terry [2.8] & John Gibson

It's actually Terry's defensive game that helps make him special. Combining that with an offensive resurgence is probably why he was voted last man in. We all know who we really want to see though, and that's rookie phenom Trevor Zegras.

In net, Gibson is having a nice bounce-back season, reestablishing himself as the division's best at the position.

Calgary Flames

PuckLuck Selection: Johnny Gaudreau [4.1]

Actual Selection: Johnny Gaudreau

Gaudreau is closely followed by his linemates Matthew Tkachuk [4.0] and Elias Lindholm [3.5] in our rankings as the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best offensive players in the Pacific by GFV/60.

Edmonton Oilers

PuckLuck Selections: Connor McDavid [4.1] & Darnell Nurse [3.3]

Actual Selections: Connor McDavid & Leon Draisaitl [3.4]

Number one in the division is McDavid, of course. Draisaitl's offense has dipped when the Oilers' powerplay numbers dropped, leaving him on the outside looking in on our list.

We also couldn't leave the top defenseman in the division off our roster, so Nurse joins the squad as well.

Los Angeles Kings

PuckLuck Selection: Viktor Arvidsson [3.4]

Actual Selection: Adrian Kempe [2.6]

Who would've thought going into the season that the second best offensive line in the Pacific Division would consist of Arvidsson, Phillip Danault [3.3], and Trevor Moore [3.1]?

Kempe is another example of someone with strong defensive numbers, but his offensive output is a result of playing with Anze Kopitar [3.0] for the better part of the season.

San Jose Sharks

PuckLuck Selection: Timo Meier [3.3]

Actual Selection: Timo Meier

Meier's another obvious selection, as the Sharks forward is currently having the best season of his career.

Seattle Kraken

PuckLuck Selection: Carson Soucy [3.1]

Actual Selection: Jordan Eberle [2.6]

Yes you read that right. Carson Soucy. The Kraken defenseman is the classic example of a castaway player going to an expansion team and taking full advantage of his opportunity. He's having the 5th-best offensive season of all of the defensemen in the division, despite being on a Seattle team that's hard-pressed to score.

Vancouver Canucks

PuckLuck Selection: Elias Pettersson [3.5]

Actual Selection: Thatcher Demko [0.20 GSAx/60]

Pettersson's struggles have been documented this season, but the goals and assists should come. By GFV standards, he's the 5th-best of all Pacific Division forwards.

Demko's been fine, but the goaltending talent in this division leaves him off our All-Star roster.

Vegas Golden Knights

PuckLuck Selections: Mark Stone [3.3] & Robin Lehner [0.44 GSAx/60]

Actual Selections: Mark Stone & Jonathan Marchessault [3.0]

The hosts of this year's All-Star Weekend are getting of two representatives - an honor I agree with as well. Only instead of Marchessault, I'm going with Lehner here, as he's really been underappreciated this season despite performing admirably.

I**f you're a visual person and would like to see how each player stacks up, we welcome you to visit our Player Cards page**

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