NHL Network Radio Presents Alberga’s Fantasy Fix: All-Stars/ Fall-Stars

All-Stars/ Fall-Stars

Brian Elliott #1 of the Calgary Flames tracks the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes at Scotiabank Saddledome on October 20, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

With the NHL announcing it’s 2016/2017 All-Star rosters last week, there’s no time like now to unveil my fantasy hockey All-Stars/Fall-Stars at the midway point.

For the purpose of this exercise, my selection process was modified a touch. Each roster is still comprised of two goalies, six forwards and three defenseman. The big difference was the representation per team. Suffice it to say, some organizations missed the boat. In total, eleven teams didn’t get a representative from me. It’s all good – there’s always the Fall-Star game.

Most selections were made based on current Yahoo! rankings.

Whatever – it was fun to put together.

 

Atlantic Division
BOS Tuukka Rask
MTL Carey Price
BOS Brad Marchand – CAPTAIN
MTL Max Pacioretty
TBL Nikita Kucherov
TOR Auston Matthews
BOS David Pastrnak
OTT Mike Hoffman
MTL Shea Weber
TBL Victor Hedman
OTT Erik Karlsson

 

As you’ve noticed by now, my Atlantic Division roster does not include anyone from the Panthers, Red Wings and Sabres. It is what it is – especially with only so many roster positions available. The goaltending and defense was essentially a formality although a shout out is needed for Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. It’s hard to comprehend how he’s just 22.

The forwards are pretty self-explanatory too. If Jack Eichel didn’t get injured, he probably makes my cut. The six forwards picked have been tremendous so far this season. This roster is really young.

 

Metro Division
WSH Braden Holtby
CBJ Sergei Bobrovsky – CAPTAIN
CBJ Cam Atkinson
PIT Evgeni Malkin
PIT Sidney Crosby
WSH Alex Ovechkin
PIT Phil Kessel
WSH Nick Backstrom
CBJ Zach Werenski
WSH John Carlson
PIT Justin Schultz

 

Here’s where it gets interesting. The hate mail to follow – especially from Rangers fans. Again, I went off current Yahoo! rankings. The Metro Division has easily been the best division in the NHL this season. There’s been so many outstanding performances that I probably could’ve constructed three separate rosters. Nick Foligno, Kevin Hayes, Jakub Voracek, J.T. Miller and Claude Giroux all narrowly just missed the cut. Sorry – better luck next year!

 

Central Division
MIN Devan Dubnyk
CHI Corey Crawford
MIN Eric Staal – CAPTAIN
CHI Patrick Kane
STL Vladimir Tarasenko
CHI Artemi Panarin
DAL Tyler Seguin
WPG Patrik Laine
MIN Ryan Suter
CHI Duncan Keith
NSH Roman Josi

 

Would a Central versus Metro showdown be fun to watch or what? Look at the talent on this roster! Minnesota has been one of the great surprises of this season. Between Devan Dubnyk’s heroics in goal and 32-year-old Eric Staal turning back the clock, it has been fun to follow.

 

Pacific Division
LAK Peter Budaj
ANA John Gibson
EDM Connor McDavid
LAK Jeff Carter – CAPTAIN
SJS Joe Pavelski
ANA Ryan Kesler
CGY Mikael Backlund
EDM Leon Draisaitl
SJS Brent Burns
CGY Dougie Hamilton
ANA Cam Fowler

 

Without Peter Budaj and Jeff Carter in Los Angeles, the Kings would be in some trouble. This division has featured many exceptional stories. From Connor McDavid and Brent Burns’ domination to Ryan Kesler’s rejuvenation to Mikael Backlund’s emergence, it has been a treat to watch it all unfold. This division is totally up for grabs too!

 

ACKNOWLEDGIND DISAPPOINTMENT

 

Now, for the real fun stuff. Here’s my Fall-Star squads.

 

Atlantic Division
TBL Ben Bishop
BUF Robin Lehner
BOS Patrice Bergeron – CAPTAIN
DET Dylan Larkin
OTT Bobby Ryan
OTT Derick Brassard
MTL Brendan Gallagher
FLA Jussi Jokinen
FLA Keith Yandle
FLA Aaron Ekblad
TBL Anton Stralman

 

Unsurprisingly, we start to see those eleven teams show up now. Without question – Florida, Tampa, Buffalo and Detroit have had issues with consistency and that’s lamented with my selections. Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron is my CAPTAIN and rightfully so. He may go down as the fantasy bust of the season. The two-way centre has shown recent signs of coming out of this but we’ll see on that front. Meantime, Dylan Larkin has certainly struggled to live up to the expectations of his rookie campaign.

 

Metro Division
NJD Cory Schneider
NYR Henrik Lundqvist
NYI Andrew Ladd – CAPTAIN
NYI John Tavares
WSH Evgeny Kuznetsov
NJD Taylor Hall
CBJ Boone Jenner
NJD Adam Henrique
PIT Kris Letang
PHI Shayne Gostisbehere
CAR Justin Faulk

 

For as good as the Metropolitan Division has been, it has featured a lot of disappointing stories. We start in net where Cory Schneider and Henrik Lundqvist have each been uncharacteristically mediocre and I’m being nice about it. It’s fair to acknowledge that John Tavares and Evgeny Kuznetsov have turned things on lately.

Andrew Ladd has been arguably the biggest headache for fantasy owners. He’s been dreadful and weirdly has become fantasy irrelevant at this point. Taylor Hall’s first season in New Jersey hasn’t gone according to plan either. I won’t even touch on the likes of Boone Jenner and Shayne Gostisbehere. It goes without saying.

 

Central Division
STL Jake Allen
DAL Kari Lehtonen
NSH James Neal
MIN Zach Parise
COL Matt Duchene
COL Nathan MacKinnon – CAPTAIN
COL Gabe Landeskog
STL Alex Steen
NSH P.K. Subban
DAL John Klingberg
COL Tyson Barrie

 

In all honesty, I wish I could just post the entire Colorado Avalanche roster for my Central Division entrant. With that in mind I’m trying something new in 2017 – to be more positive on several NHL outlooks. It’s been a downright atrocious season in Colorado. I wouldn’t touch any of their players with a ten foot pole fantasy wise.

Surprisingly, the Predators have struggled too – much to do with injuries and inconsistent play from most players including P.K. Subban, James Neal and Filip Forsberg. (Just missed this list) Also – what’s up with Jake Allen? Has he really lost his #1 job to career backup Carter Hutton?

 

Pacific Division
CGY Brian Elliott – CAPTAIN
CGY Brian Elliott – CAPTAIN
CGY Johnny Gaudreau
SJS Logan Couture
LAK Anze Kopitar
VAN Loui Eriksson
CGY Sean Monahan
EDM Jordan Eberle
LAK Drew Doughty
ARI Oliver Ekman-Larsson
LAK Jake Muzzin

 

That’s no typo – Brian Elliott is listed twice. For a guy who was drafted in most leagues inside the top-80, he’s been a massive bust. In fact, it seems like he’s lost his crease again to Chad Johnson. In Calgary, the Flames have somehow stayed afloat despite the highly documented struggles of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. You would think that a dynamic duo like them would figure it out eventually. Right? The biggest surprises for me on this roster – Logan Couture and Anze Kopitar struggling offensively the way they have.

Well, here’s hoping for a much better second half for all those listed above.

Rob Conway (NHL Network Radio contributor) helped me break down my rosters on Episode 12 of the Fantasy Fix Podcast.

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