by Kate Shefte
This morning, Eric Staal was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the third year in a row. Staal leads the Hurricanes in goals and going into tonight’s game against Florida is a career-high plus-11.
Staal will take part in the Honda/NHL Skills Competition on Jan. 24, the evening before the big game. In 2007, Staal tied Marian Hossa for the win in the most accurate shot competition, and last year he was the fastest skater out of those representing the Eastern Conference. Staal notched two goals and added an assist on Ilya Kovalchuk’s goal in last year’s All Star game and was named the game’s MVP. He won a trophy and a Ford pick-up truck.
The game will be held in Montreal to complement the Canadiens’ centennial celebrations. Due to what
some called “questionable” automatic voting systems, the starting roster for the Eastern Conference is a bit Hab-heavy. However, as usual, every team is represented at least once.
It would be impossible to fit every deserving player on the roster, and with four Habs starting, there are even more glaring omissions than usual. One has to ask…what does Ray Whitney have to do to receive an All-Star bid? Whitney leads the Hurricanes in points and has been consistently good for three seasons and hasn’t lapsed into those long scoring slumps that have plagued other players. Whitney played in the All-Star team twice, in 2000 and 2003, but never as a member of the Hurricanes.
You can view the full Eastern Conference roster after the jump.
Sidney Crosby* (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Evgeni Malkin* (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Alexei Kovalev* (Montreal Canadiens)
Jeff Carter (Philadelphia Flyers)
Dany Heatley (Ottawa Senators)
Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers)
Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Zach Parise (New Jersey Devils)
Marc Savard (Boston Bruins)
Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes)
Thomas Vanek (Buffalo Sabres)
Andrei Markov* (Montreal Canadiens)
Mike Komisarek* (Montreal Canadiens)
Jay Bouwmeester (Florida Panthers)
Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins)
Tomas Kaberle (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Mark Streit (New York Islanders)
Carey Price* (Montreal Canadiens)
Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers)
Tim Thomas (Boston Bruins)