Johnny Gaudreau has been in the NHL for four seasons. He is also going to the NHL All-Star game for the fourth season in a row, this time as the Flames’ lone representative.
The Pacific Division team is made up primarily of Kings and Golden Knights players, which, when you look at the divisional standings, makes sense: those teams both have an easy lead in the standings.
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) January 10, 2018
It’s a requirement that every single team be represented at the All-Star Game, so that the Flames have just one representative isn’t really much of a snub: six of the eight Pacific teams only have one player going.
Gaudreau, with 13 goals and 49 points in 42 games this season, leads his team in scoring by 10 points, and is ninth league-wide in scoring. He’ll almost certainly have broken the 50-point marker by the All-Star Game (at least, we should very well hope so). He’s a true offensive force in the NHL, and has been his entire career: hence his attending the festivities every single year, not to mention his career 253 points in 274 games.
There do look to be a couple of obvious snubs on the Flames end of things: Sean Monahan and Mike Smith.
Monahan, who reached the 20-goal plateau against the Wild, has the third most goals out of anyone in the Pacific, with just William Karlsson and Brock Boeser ahead of him. Karlsson isn’t attending, and Monahan has as 10 more points than James Neal does. If you’re going strictly by points, any of Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, or Monahan would make more sense than Neal: two Vegas options that wouldn’t even see a heavy expansion team representation interrupted.
As for Smith, his .921 save percentage this season is below both Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonathan Quick’s, though Fleury has only played 12 games due to injury. Granted, they’ve been a good 12 games apparently, but uh. If the NHL was going by goalies with a large workload and high save percentage, then John Gibson would probably make more sense. And is it not in the Flames’ interests that Smith gets time off rather than partakes in festivities, considering his massive workload through the first half of the season?