Jake Guentzel will still get credit for being named an All-Star this season, but due to his unfortunate injury, he will not be able to participate in the festivities at the end of the month. With Guentzel out, the NHL had to pick a replacement from the Penguins to fill in, and who better than “Last Man In” nominee Kris Letang.
This will be Letang’s sixth All-Star appearance, surpassing the mark set by Paul Coffey for the most appearances by a Penguins defenseman in franchise history. Aside from some missed time earlier in the season, Letang has pieced together a very strong season to date, recording 26 points in 34 games played, good for fourth among all Metro division blue liners.
In addition to Letang being called up to replace Guentzel, newly minted No. 1 goaltender Tristan Jarry will make his NHL All-Star debut as a replacement selection for injured Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Joonas Korpisalo. Since taking over the top role for a struggling Matt Murray, Jarry has developed into one of the best goaltender in the league. He currently leads the league in save percentage and goals against, and is tied for the lead in shutouts with three.
This season, Jarry has appeared in 20 games for the Penguins, posting a 13-6-1 record, just a single win shy of equalling this career high set back in 2017-18. Back in early December, Jarry set a new franchise shutout streak of 177:15, a run that included consecutive shutouts of the St. Louis Blues and Arizona Coyotes. After his streak was snapped by the Montreal Canadiens, Jarry rebounded to blank the Blue Jackets and record his third shutout in four games.
You can watch Letang and Jarry play alongside the best the NHL has to offer at the 2020 All-Star Game in St. Louis on January 25th. You will also be able to see them in action at the Skills Competition the night before.