Kane, Toews Only Blackhawks on 2016 All-Star Roster

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/ Getty Images

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/ Getty Images

Days after the NHL announced the four captains for the NHL all-star game, they announced Wednesday the rest of the roster, which included center Jonathan Toews.

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will represent the Blackhawks in the 2016 all-star game that will be held on January 31st in Nashville, Tennessee.

It’s no shock that Patrick Kane is a captain in this year’s all-star game. He has been phenomenal all season long, putting his off the ice issues behind him.

On the season, Kane leads all players in total points, becoming the first player this season to reach 60 points after tallying his 37th assist in the Blackhawks 3-1 win Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Among NHL leaders, Kane leads the NHL in total points with 60, tied for second in goals with 23, first in assists with 30 and tied for third in plus/minus rating with a plus-18 rating, according to NHL.com

According to ESPN.com, Kane is on pace to eclipse 100 total points, an achievement he has yet to accomplish in his career. ESPN.com is projecting Kane to finish the season with 46 goals, 72 assists, 118 total points and a plus/minus rating of plus-36.

In his career, Kane has never posted more than 30 goals, 60 assists, 100 points and a plus/minus rating above plus-20. Kane is having an MVP season and he well deserves to represent the Chicago Blackhawks in Nashville for the all-star game.

On the other hand, it was quite surprising to see Jonathan Toews make the roster.

Even though Toews has had success in prior seasons, this season has been different. According to hockey-reference.com, Toews has 14 goals, 12 assists, 26 total points and a plus/minus rating of plus-8. But according to ESPN.com, Toews is projected to finish the season with 28 goals and 24 assists equaling 52 total points. Not counting the 2012-2103 season, the year the NHL season was shorten due to the lockout, Toews is on pace to have a career low in total points. In his rookie season, Toews posted 54 points scoring 24 goals and 30 assists in 64 games. Among NHL leaders, Toews is tied for 76th in total points, tied for 41st in goals and tied for 146th in assists. With those stats, in my opinion, Toews did not deserve to make the all-star team.

However, there were two other players on the Blackhawks that could/should have been on the roster.

Corey Crawford – Goalie

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford is having a career year. Currently, among Western Conference goalie leaders, Crawford is second in wins with 21, fifth in goals against average giving up 2.22 goals per game, fourth in save percentage with a .925 percentage and first in shutouts with 6, according to ESPN.com.

ESPN.com is also projecting Crawford to finish the season with 47 wins. Crawford’s highest win totals in a season happened in 2010-2011 when he won 33 games, according to ESPN.com.

When the roster came out Wednesday, each division has two goalies. Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk and Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne are representing the Central division. I understand Rinne making the all-star team because Nashville is hosting the all-star game. However, Crawford deserved to make the team over Dubnyk.

Dubnyk is having a solid season don’t get me wrong. But comparing Dubnyk’s stats to Crawford’s stats, Crawford is having a better season. According to NHL.com, Dubnyk is 17-11-3, is giving up 2.28 goals per game, .921 save percentage and has four shutouts. Crawford exceeds those stats and its a shame that Crawford will be sitting at home January 31st instead of being in Nashville where he should be.

Artemi Panarin – Left Wing

Artemi Panarin is the other Blackhawks player that could/should have been on the all-star roster. For a rookie, the 24-year-old Russian has been playing unbelievable hockey this season and as of late. In his last two games, both against the Penguins, Panarin has tallied in four goals. On the season, among Western Conference leaders, Panarin is tied for 13th in goals with 15, tied for ninth in assists with 23 and tied for eighth in total points with 38, according to NHL.com.

The forwards who are representing the Central division include Patrick Kane, Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars, Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues and Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche. Panarin is having a better season than Duchene, but I get it that he made the roster because he is the only player to represent the Avalanche. However, there was one forward that is on the roster that I did not mention and that player is Jonathan Toews. I know that Toews and Panarin play different positions and that there are three centers and three wing players on the roster, but Panarin deserved to make the team over Toews. He has been playing at an elite level, a level I don’t think the Blackhawks expected.

Overall, even though Panarin was snubbed from the all-star team, he has a bright future ahead of him and will make multiple all-star teams in the future.

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