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Tuesday, December 20, 2011
All-Star voting: Kessel pulling away

By Pierre LeBrun

The fifth week of All-Star balloting changed very little. Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators continue to dominate voting for the game, which will be played in the Canadian national capital late next month (* -- denotes write-in candidate):

Forwards

The Leafs’ Phil Kessel still leads all forwards, and this week no longer has Sidney Crosby in his rearview. The injured Penguins superstar dropped to third among forwards in voting with 434,762 votes. Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson vaulted past him into second with 445,213 votes for the host Senators. Kessel leads with a whopping 529,659 votes, most of any player regardless of position. Somehow, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who’s having a Hart Trophy season, remains only eighth with 246,055 votes. I thought hockey was big in Chicago again.


1.Phil Kessel 529,659
2. Daniel Alfredsson 445,213
3. Sidney Crosby 434,762
4. Jason Spezza 396,864
5. Joffrey Lupul 379,437
6. Milan Michalek 366,873
7. Claude Giroux 272,152
8. Jonathan Toews 246,055
9. Pavel Datsyuk 239,364
10. Evgeni Malkin 217,244
11. Jaromir Jagr 199,954
12. Patrick Kane 187,687
13. James Neal 172,409
14. Henrik Zetterberg 158,136
15. Marian Hossa 147,388
16. Alex Ovechkin 139,737
17. Daniel Sedin 130,227
18. Steven Stamkos 127,734
19. Jordan Staal 124,455
20. Jordan Eberle 117,276
21. Danny Briere 115,548
22. Henrik Sedin 114,942
23. Patrick Sharp 112,945
24. Ryan Kesler 110,157
25. * Tyler Seguin 100,770
26. Patrice Bergeron 99,539
27. Marian Gaborik 94,053
28. Taylor Hall 90,781
29. Thomas Vanek 88,514
30. Milan Lucic 87,939


Defense

Erik Karlsson of the host Senators continues to lead the blueliners in votes with 486,171, just like he continues to lead all defensemen in scoring. Dion Phaneuf of the provincial rival Maple Leafs has garnered 453,986 votes. Shea Weber, my current pick to win the Norris Trophy, is all the way down to ninth in voting with 196,797. Come on, folks, a little love for the Nashville Predators captain please.


1.Erik Karlsson 486,171
2. Dion Phaneuf 453,986
3. Kris Letang 365,090
4. Nicklas Lidstrom 349,770
5. Zdeno Chara 322,282
6. Sergei Gonchar 294,105
7. John-Michael Liles 293,959
8. Duncan Keith 215,674
9. Shea Weber 196,797
10. P.K. Subban 180,856
11. Brent Seabrook 168,527
12. Niklas Kronwall 153,621
13. Chris Pronger 152,188
14. Kimmo Timonen 150,115
15. Alexander Edler 124,764
16. Dustin Byfuglien 102,277
17. Drew Doughty 92,851
18. Dan Boyle 90,505
19. Brent Burns 77,392
20. Sheldon Souray 73,130


Goalies

Reigning Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas continues to dazzle the NHL with sensational netminding, but it's still not enough to dislodge James Reimer from the top spot among vote-getters at their position. The Maple Leafs goalie remained first with 360,061 votes compared to 342,792 for the Bruins' Thomas. Jimmy Howard of the Red Wings, who inexplicably was left off the original ballot, is fifth in voting with 144,481 votes. Pretty good for a write-in candidate, one that wholeheartedly deserves to play in the All-Star Game.


1.James Reimer 360,061
2. Tim Thomas 342,792
3. Marc-Andre Fleury 320,401
4. Carey Price 192,755
5. * Jimmy Howard 144,481
6. Pekka Rinne 141,415
7. Nikolai Khabibulin 138,004
8. Henrik Lundqvist 137,767
9. Ilya Bryzgalov 132,032
10. Roberto Luongo 103,317
11. Jonathan Quick 94,276
12. * Corey Crawford 77,831
13. Ryan Miller 75,676
14. Kari Lehtonen 71,453
15. Martin Brodeur 63,057