Fantasy draft? We did that back in September/October. When I think of All-Stars I think of the ‘First Team’ and the ‘Second Team’– aka the true cut-off between the superstars and the players who needed to represent their team as a rule. Although the League previously only broke the teams down into first and second teams, we chose to be a bit more creative and further segregate by Conference. Luckily for you, we did all the work as we bring you the mid-season Fantasy All-Star teams!
G – Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
No goalie improved more from last season to this season. After a full recovery from hip surgery followed by a change in goalie mask, Thomas came into this season with a shutout in his first start and has not looked back– leading the League in GAA, SV% and shutouts. At this point in the year there looks to be no better candidate for the Vezina Trophy with only workhorses like Henrik Lundqvist, Carey Price and Jonas Hiller looking like true threats to his campaign. Constantly looked over due to lack of pedigree, Thomas may be one of the most underrated players of the last 10 years as he stays on the inside track for his second Vezina in three years.
D – Dustin Byfuglien, Atlanta Thrashers
The crown jewel of the offseason, Byfuglien proved to all pundits, (and Jeremy Roenick) how comfortable he could be playing on the blue line. Playing in the defensively challenged Southeast Division clearly helps his booming shots resonate as the Minneapolis native already broke career-highs in assists and points and falls just three goals shy of improving across the board. Byfuglien also provides one of the best examples of why you should always take a flier on a breakout playoff performer and projects for an impressive 65 points on the season.
D – Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins continue to win without Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby and Letang is a big reason why. The 23-year-old already shattered his career-high in points with 41 through 50 games but he also leads the Pens in ice time, plus/minus, assists and powerplay assists. While his stats may appear to be padded by his superstar surroundings, Letang still ties with Byfuglien for the most points amongst Eastern Conference defenseman, putting him clearly in the Norris Trophy race.
C – Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Crosby already missed nine games on the season but still sits above everyone not named Steven Stamkos in points. As mentioned in previous articles, we cutoff the statistics at 41 games, where ‘The Kid’ clearly had a leg up on his talented counterpart. Injuries aside, Crosby gets the nod thanks to his infamous streak, which thrilled fans and fantasy owners alike.
LW – Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
One look at Ovechkin’s numbers tell the story. The superstar forward fails to score on command like the previous seasons but still leads all Eastern Conference left wings in scoring. Surprisingly, guys like Eric Staal sit higher than Ovi in the scoring race while others like Jarome Iginla and Mike Ribeiro appear closer in the mirror than previously projected. Expect an excellent second half as once again starring the the All-Star Game should revive his jovial nature and hopefully take some pressure off of him.
RW – Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
While linemate Stamkos may be nearing 40 goals, St. Louis already eclipsed the 40 assist marker. The 35-year-old veteran projects for 96 points on the year, which would be his second highest total of his career and lead all right wings in scoring. In spite of his age, the diminutive St. Louis continues to be quicker than the opposition and able to set his talented pivot up for countless goals while also providing the Lightning with an elite powerplay quarterback.
As always, we hope you enjoyed our segment as much as we enjoyed writing it. Feel free to dissect every small decision we decided to make in the comments. We also omitted an “honorable mention” section so feel free to create your own below. In addition we urge you to please follow, or continue to follow us on twitter for the most up-to-date fantasy hockey information @DailyFaceoff.