WINNIPEG It takes mere moments after All-Star rosters are announced to come up with a quick and dirty list of the biggest surprises and snubs.
Logan Couture was the likeliest of Sharks to get chosen for the game in Ottawa on Jan. 29, so that news came as no surprise. After all, hes leading the team in goals with 17 and the NHL gravitates towards its younger stars when it comes to major events and awards.
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Couture may very well have been the only one deserving.
It would be easy to make a case for another guy on the Sharks, though, who isnt necessarily the flashiest player but has probably been the teams MVP at the midway point of the regular season.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic wasnt disappointed with the news he wont be going, though, and didnt even know until I told him on Thursday morning at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
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Its going well for me this season, but its not something I thought about, Vlasic said. With my production maybe I could have, but I just wanted to have a strong season this year.
Its good to be recognized, but Im sure if I continue it this year and next year, maybe Ill get another chance. But, it wasnt on my mind.
Vlasic is the Sharks second leading scorer among defenseman with 16 points (3g, 13a), and his 19 is sixth in the NHL among blueliners. More importantly, though, Vlasic has been a rock on defense while Dan Boyle struggled early with his consistency (albeit, battling a broken foot) and Brent Burns has yet to settle in.
All-Star defensemen Dustin Byfuglien, Dennis Wideman, Dan Girardi and Kimmo Timonen are all having fine seasons, but Id take Vlasic over any of them.
Such is the nature of the All Star Game, though.
I think hes been maybe our most consistent defenseman throughout the year, and should be considered, but somebody just told me Nick Lidstrom isnt going either, so sometimes some very good people are left off, Todd McLellan said.