It’s a do-over of last year! The NHL All-Star events are ultimately for the fans, and so, the NHL ensures that at least one player from each team is going to the festivities. With the new format of divisional teams this year, things are a bit more restricted, but the Flames are once again seeing dual representation in the forms of Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano.
Gaudreau was a no-brainer, and Giordano was an easy, if somewhat lazy choice. After all, he’s the Flames’ captain, and has just moved into the scoring lead for the team’s defence. Though one could make the argument T.J. Brodie has actually been the better defender of the two this season.
But that’s such a minor quibble, because it’s not like Giordano hasn’t earned his repeat All-Star honours – particularly as he’s turned it back on as of late. Gaudreau and Giordano will be getting regular three-on-three shifts in the All-Star Game’s new format, as they hope to lead Team Pacific to glory.
(After all, who is better acquainted than Flames players at playing three-on-three?)
We all know the Pacific Division is something of a tire fire, to put things lightly. The Los Angeles Kings are well ahead in the lead, while the rest of the division is closer to a lottery entry than the playoffs, and that includes the two teams – currently the Coyotes and Flames – in guaranteed playoff position.
But there are still really talented players on every team, no matter how bad. Here’s how the breakdown goes:
- F Corey Perry
- G John Gibson
- F John Scott (Captain!)
- F Johnny Gaudreau
- D Mark Giordano
- F Taylor Hall
Los Angeles Kings
- D Drew Doughty
- G Jonathan Quick
San Jose Sharks
- F Joe Pavelski
- D Brent Burns
- F Daniel Sedin
The California teams, as well as the Flames, are the only ones to have more than one player representing them, so feel free to point and laugh at the Oilers and Canucks.
But not the Coyotes. John Scott is a treasure, and he will lead the Pacific to victory, and lift Johnny Hockey like a trophy at the end. You’re gonna do it, guys. With impeccable leadership and literally the best player at three-on-three hockey in existence, you’re gonna do it.
Of the Flames’ eight overtime wins this season, Gaudreau has been involved in seven of them, scoring three goals and four assists. Giordano has been in just one – an overtime goal against the Detroit Red Wings, of course directly and beautifully assisted by Gaudreau – but the overtime offence has really been spread out amongst the defence. Dennis Wideman has an overtime point, Brodie and Kris Russell two, and Dougie Hamilton three.
So I guess when in doubt, go with the guy you already know? If not for injury, Giordano had been putting together back-to-back Norris-worthy campaigns. Also, he’s a really, really good player. And Brodie’s time should come at some point, I suppose.
Gaudreau is currently eighth in overall NHL scoring with 39 points in 39 games, currently on a four-game pointless streak. His 17 goals and 22 assists have him leading the Flames in scoring by 13 points, and he’s second in Pacific Division scoring to Hall, who has two more points in two more games.
Giordano’s 10 goals and 23 points through 39 games has him sitting at 18th in the NHL for overall defencemen scoring, though he does lead the Flames with two more points than Brodie in nine more games. He’s fourth overall in Pacific defencemen scoring, behind Burns, Oliver Ekman-Larsson (who will not be going to the All-Star Game), and Doughty.