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 – Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
If you still wonder why the Rangers remain in the playoff hunt, look no further than Lundqvist, who consistently keeps his team in the game. While other netminders lagged behind Tim Thomas in the shutouts category, ‘King Henrik’ looks to post career-highs in the category, sitting just two shy of tying his high of nine. Most importantly, for the Rangers to win, or continue winning, Lundqvist needs to be their best player. He has proven to be as they remain in the playoff race despite losing Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky amongst others.
D – Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
At the cutoff mark of 41 games the Bruins’ captain only scored six goals, which kept him on this second squad. If he had burst out with his first career hat trick before that deadline passed he could have been considered for the top spot. In his fifth season with the Bruins, the jersey he likely retires wearing, the Slovakian defenseman should hit his normal 40-50 points with double-digits in goals scored. In addition, his healthy snarl leads to a handful of PIM that only Chris Pronger could likely match (if healthy).
D – Tobias Enstrom, Atlanta Thrashers
Enstrom recently went down with a broken finger, which should slow the Thrashers down considerably. At numerous points in the season the diminutive Swedish blue-liner led the team in scoring and had he not gone down he had a chance to lead the Eastern Conference/League as a defenseman. Following an excellent campaign in which he posted six goals and 50 points, most pundits labeled him as bound for regression but with 41 points in only 50 games he should top his career-highs.
C – Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Stamkos continues to be an anomaly and the hope for other first overall picks like John Tavares and Taylor Hall. Heck, because of Stamkos we probably all reached for the two aforementioned forwards just based off the pure potential of owning a 50-goal threat. Although his production tapered off from what was sure-to-be a 50-in-50 memory, Stamkos has the ability to lead the League in scoring if Sidney Crosby remains sidelined with concussion symptoms. In fact, you could probably argue Stamkos over Crosby for the sake of this list, but we had a hard enough time knocking Alexander Ovechkin down a notch on the Big 50…
LW – Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins
Despite missing three games, Lucic gets the nod with his continually hard-nosed play on the left side. Playing primarily on the top line, the 22-year-old remains a staple in the corners and creates havoc in front of the net. Furthermore, his snarl, similar to Chara, translates to plenty of time in the penalty box. He seemed to have learned how to stay in the lineup and even became more careful regarding when to fight after injuring himself in a bout last season. On a side note, we found it somewhat shocking how weak the Eastern Conference looks on the left side with main runner-up candidates being Michael Cammalleri, Scott Hartnell and Ryan Malone.
RW – Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Giroux held his coming-out party during last season’s playoffs, scoring 10 goals and 21 points over 23 games and further proving to fantasy owners why playoff breakouts likely turn into a regular season emergence. When looking over the Flyers’ potent offense, there was little faith in Giroux leading the team in scoring yet the 5’11” forward continues to prove himself on a national level. The powers that be originally selected Giroux to be the team’s only representative which says a good deal on his standing, regardless of whoever opted out of the festivities.
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.