All-Star game

So apparently fans of the Montreal Canadiens are stuffing the ballot box for the NHL All-Star game.

The game will be held in Montreal this year as part of the celebration of the Habs’ 100th anniversary.

Many fans want all six positions to be filled by members of the Habs. Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Alex Tanguay, Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek and Carey Price all lead their respective positions in votes.

But to all those who are trying this, I say this: Don’t bother.

Two words why: Rory Fitzpatrick.

For those who don’t remember, there was a write-in campaign to get Fitzpatrick into the all-star game, to show that the system was flawed. He was one of the top two defencemen in votes until the week before the deadline. And then with all the publicity at its height, what happened?

“After receiving 285,000 votes the two previous weeks, he got just 58,000 in the week ending on Dec. 26 and dropped to third place in the standings.”

The above quote is for an article on Slate.com (read it here). It does a great drop of explaining what happened:

“I believe the evidence suggests the NHL cooked the books. Since the league counted only ballots that were entirely filled in, there should have been an equal number of votes cast for hockey’s two conferences. But for the week after Christmas, players in the Eastern Conference received 6 percent more votes than those in Fitzpatrick’s Western Conference. Among defensemen, the results were even more skewed: The guys in the West—Rory among them—got 16 percent fewer votes overall. (These discrepancies were about three times bigger than any that had come before.) As bloggers were quick to point out, the numbers were exactly what you’d expect to see if the league had manually dumped 100,000 Rory votes.”

So what does all this have to do with the Montreal Canadiens? Simple. If the NHL decided to throw away votes before, what makes you think they won’t do it again?

Do you really think they’ll have an All-Star game without Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin as one of its starters? They’re the prize gems of the NHL. No way Saku Koivu starts over Crosby. At some point, look for Crosby to have a couple of great weeks, and for the Canadiens players to start getting less votes.

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