23 November 2010
The Avs are currently sitting 3rd in the conference with 25 points, or one more than Chris Stewart has. With 72 Goals scored, they are 3rd in the league, behind 2 Eastern Conference teams that play against teams that overwhelmingly play the hot new defensive system known as "The Spectator". By being the top scoring team playing against real defenses, the Avs have quite a few players that should get all-star consideration.
(After reading this, or before, go vote for these players for All-star here: vote.nhl.com)
Chris Stewart - Arguably The Avs most obvious choice for All Star so far. Last season Stewart played in 4 games before being sent to Cleveland. Since then he has emerged into a dominant force on the Avs roster. Since his brief stay in Lake Erie, Chris Stewart has played in 92 regular season games. In those 92 games he has 87 points (49 of those goals, by the way).
More importantly, THIS season, Stewart has been a beast. Among Right Wings only Martin St. Louis has more points at 27 than Stewert's 24. Chris Stewart has 11 goals and is sitting at 1.20 points per game through the 1st quarter of the season. Not only has Stewart been the Avs top point getter so far, but his physical presence, and ability to click with Center Paul Stastny, has been vital to the Young Avs success.
More after the jump
The other half of the "arguably most obvious Avalanche choice for the all-star game" Johnny Liles. In fact, you could make a strong argument that Liles is having the best season for Offensive Defensemen so far this season, with 20 points in 20 games. His 9 game points streak to start the season is the kind of streak that should get people noticed (Naturally him and Stewart are not on the all-star ballot list)
Most importantly, Liles defense has improved. Tremendously. Last season· Scott Reynolds of Gospel of Hockey (and now Copper & Blue) recorded scoring chances by the Avs at even strength. One thing he consistently said last season was that Liles was getting killed at even strength. This season Liles is doing well at even strength (29.4 SF/60, 25.2 against) while consistently playing with a rookie partner for most of the time. His positioning and strength have improved. And so has his confidence. The result is solid defense and top notch offense.
Paul Stastny:Chris Stewart may be the heart and soul of the Avalanche team, but Paul Stastny is easily the brains and control center. Everything on the team runs through his pivot. His passing presence picks apart opposing defenses. He's being used less on the Penalty Kill, with the emergence of Ryan O'Reilly and Daniel Winnick it allows him to take a lesser role there. But he's still the guy who's going against the other teams top lines. He's doing quite well, by the way too.·
The Son of Stastny is, again, quietly having a brilliant season. ho hum, 20 points in 20 games. Stastny probably won't make the roster (the center position is easily the game's most stacked) and it's just "Forwards" not LW, RW, and C (which is stupid, by the way). But he deserves to. His defense is criminally underrated, and he's as good a 2-way center as there is in the game right now.
Milan Hejduk: Remember when we all wondered what the hell was wrong with him. I mean he started the season slow, and everyone was wondering whether he was hurt, or just getting old. Well we were all wrong as hell. I mean we all thought his knee was finally failing him. Well we're idiots
The Duke has gone on a points bonanza in his characteristically Dukie ways. Anyone want to guess how many points he has without looking? He has 22. That's 2 behind Chris Stewart. It's also more than Bobby Ryan, Rick Nash, Jarome Iginla and Marion Hossa.
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