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Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Our 2010 All-Star rosters ... if there were a game

By Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun

In the absence of an All-Star weekend thanks to the Olympics, here's what our All-Star teams would look like if the game were held:

Scott Burnside's team

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards

Sidney Crosby

Nicklas Backstrom

Steven Stamkos

Alexander Ovechkin

Ilya Kovalchuk

Zach Parise

Marian Gaborik

Tomas Plekanec

Martin St. Louis

Evgeni Malkin

Nathan Horton

Daniel Alfredsson

• We're going to make Plekanec play on the right side just because we can, but we like our depth down the middle and are loaded on the left side with Ovechkin, Kovalchuk and Parise.

Defensemen

Mike Green

Tyler Myers

Andrei Markov

Tomas Kaberle

Tobias Enstrom

Chris Pronger

Mark Streit

• Hey, it's an All-Star Game, so we're not too worried about roughing it up, although you can never tell with Pronger. This will be a small consolation to Green, who once again leads all NHL defensemen in points but couldn't find a spot on Canada's 2010 Olympic team.

Goaltenders

Henrik Lundqvist

Martin Brodeur

Ryan Miller

• Think you can find a Vezina Trophy winner among this group? How about this -- just put all three of them on your final ballot right now.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards

Henrik Sedin

Joe Thornton

Patrick Marleau

Dany Heatley

Daniel Sedin

Brad Richards

Patrick Kane

Corey Perry

Rick Nash

Ryan Getzlaf

Mikko Koivu

Alex Burrows

• Just as we were a bit thin on the right side in the East, we had to co-op Brad Richards to play the left side on the West. Don't think he'll mind. Love the right side, and how would they match up against the East? Wow, we might actually look forward to this.

Defensemen

Duncan Keith

Brent Seabrook

Dan Boyle

Drew Doughty

Stephane Robidas

Shea Weber

Lubomir Visnovsky

• Hey, our Western blue line looks suspiciously like the Canadian Olympic blue line. Love Robidas even though he didn't make the Canadian squad. And Visnovsky gets a nod just because he is able to unfold himself from the fetal position every day despite playing for the worst team in the NHL, the Edmonton Oilers.

Goaltenders

Evgeni Nabokov

Ilya Bryzgalov

Roberto Luongo

• We gave Bryzgalov an edge over Jonas Hiller, who is the main reason the Anaheim Ducks can still say "playoffs" without stuttering. Nabokov and Luongo have been terrific, although we're guessing there isn't a Western Conference netminder in the final accounting for the Vezina. Bigger concern for Luongo and Nabokov will be in correcting past playoff missteps come April.

Pierre LeBrun's team

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards

Sidney Crosby

Alex Ovechkin

Ilya Kovalchuk

Marian Gaborik

Nicklas Backstrom

Martin St. Louis

Steven Stamkos

Vincent Lecavalier

Mike Cammalleri

Zach Parise

Mike Richards

Tim Connolly

• Full disclosure: The LeBrun All-Stars don't worry about center, right wing or left wing -- it's an All-Star Game, for goodness' sake; how could that matter? So I just picked the 12 forwards I believed were most deserving from the first 50-odd games of the season. The most notable omissions are Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Semin. I made Malkin pay for a so-so first half, while I figured Semin would want to go somewhere warm instead. I took Cammalleri over Tomas Plekanec from the Habs, thinking Cammalleri's 26 goals should not be ignored. Should there be an injury before our mythical All-Star Game, I would sub in Malkin.

Defensemen

Mike Green

Tomas Kaberle

Chris Pronger

Sergei Gonchar

Tyler Myers

Tobias Enstrom

Zdeno Chara

• It's hard to leave off a talent like Andrei Markov, but he missed too much time to make this All-Star Game. Besides, he can use the time off. Chara's numbers are way down, but we gave him the nod over Kimmo Timonen.

Goaltenders

Martin Brodeur

Ryan Miller

Tomas Vokoun

• The Brodeur-Miller combo is obvious, but I liked Vokoun as my third choice. His .931 save percentage as of Tuesday morning was second only to Miller in the NHL. Enough said.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards

Henrik Sedin

Joe Thornton

Patrick Marleau

Dany Heatley

Jonathan Toews

Patrick Kane

Brad Richards

Anze Kopitar

Rick Nash

Corey Perry

Ryan Getzlaf

Paul Stastny

• I wish I had room for Mikko Koivu, but he'll have to settle for being the first injury replacement. Jarome Iginla takes a rare All-Star weekend off. Dustin Penner probably deserves better, given that he's lost Ales Hemsky for the season and is still producing. But unlike the NHL's, my All-Star rules don't mandate that all teams be represented.

Defensemen

Duncan Keith

Dan Boyle

Drew Doughty

Stephane Robidas

Shea Weber

Marek Zidlicky

Christian Ehrhoff

• I saved Nicklas Lidstrom the fine by not even naming him, instead allowing him to rest up for the Red Wings. Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer also appreciated the time off. I loved putting Robidas on my squad. He's so, so, so underrated. Keith Yandle gets my vote if there's an injury.

Goaltenders

Roberto Luongo

Craig Anderson

Evgeni Nabokov

• Miikka Kiprusoff is the biggest omission here, but he told me he wanted no part of our All-Star Game because I couldn't guarantee he would start. Fair enough. Anderson was a must; he's the backbone of the awesome Colorado Avalanche. First up for an injury replacement is Ilya Bryzgalov.