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Penguins in the 2018 All-Star game

A look at which Pittsburgh Penguins players should be included in the 2018 all-star game

Pittsburgh Penguins v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

NHL players don’t have the Olympics to look forward to, but they do have an NHL All-Star game later this month. Hip hip, hooray!

Yeah, I doubt they’re very excited either, but at least it’s in the warm weather of Tampa this year.

So which Penguins have the pleasure, err honor of having to work a weekend to play a meaningless game? The official list will be released by the NHL tomorrow, but we can project with reasonable accuracy what will happen.

Sidney Crosby told Jason Mackey of the Post-Gazette earlier that he doesn’t think it’s him.

“I don’t expect to be there, to be honest with you,” Crosby told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sunday morning. “I haven’t even thought about it. I don’t feel like I’ve had an all-star first half.”

Crosby has only actually played in 2 NHL All-Star games in his entire career (2007, 2017) having to sit out games in 08, 09, 11 and 15 that he was named to the team due to injury. And, despite the quote above, Crosby’s being a little modest as his recent push last week has boosted him among the top-end of scorers in the division. Here’s how the stats look from as of today (click to embiggen)

Remember since the new ASG format is a 3v3 game where each division gets 6 forwards, 3 defensemen and 2 goalies. We know Alex Ovechkin will be the team captain (hah!) by virtue of a totally fair league-wide vote that they didn’t announce totals for.

Also, per tradition, every team in the division gets at least 1 representative, so 11 total players from 8 teams means not too many players from one single team are going to be chosen, unlike past years in a 5v5 format with a traditional all-star “team” that made up a normal lineup.

Based on these qualifications, 7 writers voted for teams and this is what they came up with:

Metropolitan Division


Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (captain)

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils

John Tavares, New York Islanders

Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins

Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes

Others receiving votes: Josh Bailey, New York Islanders; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers; Anders Lee, New York Islanders; Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Teuvo Teravainen, Carolina Hurricanes


John Carlson, Washington Capitals

Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets

Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers

Others receiving votes: Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers; Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes; Noah Hanifin, Carolina Hurricanes; Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins; Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets; Kevin Shattenkirk, New York Rangers; Will Butcher, New Jersey Devils


Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

Others receiving votes: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals; Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils

The Metropolitan team has a distinct Capitals flavor.

Ovechkin is the captain, Carlson is one of the three defensemen selected, and the team will be coached by Barry Trotz.

The defending Stanley Cup-champion Penguins had one player voted to the team -- and it wasn’t Crosby. Kessel was on seven ballots and Crosby on four. Letang was the only other Penguins player to receive a vote.

All of this makes a lot of sense to me, besides last place Philly getting 2 skaters, but who really cares.

Anyways, Phil Kessel better not make plans as he has been the best Pittsburgh Penguin player this season and is a shoe-in to be picked. Crosby and Malkin have outside shots, but since every team needs a representative, they’ll likely be on the outside looking in....Which I’m sure neither will really mind having the weekend to themselves rather than play in some silly NHL exhibition game. There could always be injury replacements, but again with every team having a player in the game, it would seem unlikely 87/71 will be necessary.

The NHL All-Star game in January 28th.