Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Reminiscin': All-Star Shame

I have an unhealthy obsession with finding slights against the Kings and then railing against them. One such slight? The exclusion of Alexander Frolov in last year’s All-Star Game. Frolov was one of the better players in the Western Conference leading up to the All-Star break, tallying 45 points in 46 games. That put him 5th in the Western Conference in points and first among left wingers, yet he was passed over by Jonathan Cheechoo (who got in thanks to the powerful San Jose lobby), Ryan Smyth, Rick Nash, and handsome devil Henrik Zetterberg. It is my belief that Frolov deserved to be in the All-Star game over at least one (if not all) of these players.

Frolov: 21 G, 24 A, 45 P in 46 games (.98 point/game)

Cheechoo: 16 G, 18 A, 34 P in 42 games (.81 p/g)

Smyth: 23 G, 13 A, 36 P in 38 games (.95 p/g)

Nash: 13 G, 17 A, 30 P in 41 games (.73 p/g)

Zetterberg: 19 G, 21 A, 40 P in 49 games (.81 p/g)

A rudimentary analysis of the statistics at the All-Star break makes it obvious (at least to me) that Frolov deserved to be in the All-Star game. Ryan Smyth is the only player that came even close to matching Frolov’s production. At first I figured that they had to get a player on every team in the All-Star game, but then I was reminded that they did away with that rule about 4 years ago. Nash’s inclusion was particularly egregious. I mean, sure, he led the league in goals a couple of years ago, but that has nothing to do with this season. If I had been writing for this site when this happened, the whole thing might have caught on fire.

All-Star Game? More like All-Star shame! Wait, dammit...

Some might argue that maybe the NHL didn’t include Frolov because the Kings already had Visnovsky going to the All-Star game and it wouldn’t make sense for a team as bad as the Kings to have two players in the game. To them, I say go fuck yourself. The All-Star game is not a reward for teams that have excelled in the first half of the season; it is a place for players who have had exceptional seasons (like Frolov) to be honored.

Sorry, I got lost in your eyes for a second. What was I talking about?

I think a problem with the Kings is that because the team is bad, people just automatically assume that they don’t have any good players. This leads to Frolov being excluded from the All-Star game, and Kopitar being excluded from the Calder, and shitfucks writing about how Visnovsky doesn’t deserve top defenseman money. I think you need to watch this team to understand that the best players on the team (the three above plus Cammalleri) are all very, very good; it’s the rest of the team that ain’t that great. Of course, that would mean that the NHL and the writers would have to stay up past 11, and that’s just asking far too much. I mean, come on, it’s not like it’s their jobs or anything.


Earl Sleek said...

Heh, sure Rudy, I'll grant you that. Don't forget Selanne & McDonald, who at some point in the voting (whenever I wrote this post) were ranked 42nd and 108th in league scoring, respectively.

Kinda funny, though. I was writing at the time in order to try to keep Ducks out of the All-Star Game. Somehow I just can't get behind the most meaningless game of the year.

RudyKelly said...

At least we agree on one thing; neither of us want any Duck to make the all-star game or win an award.

Ian said...

I think you're way overstating Frolov's case for being named an All-Star. First, the All-Star game is the bastard love-child of a popularity contest and a mid-season "Good on you!" feel-good-a-thon. Frolov ain't popular, and hasn't had a break-out season so he can become popular a la Cheechoo, so he's only going to get named an All-Star if he's having a superlative season. Those are good stats for Frolov, but not of the "Holy Crap, who's this guy!" variety.

A related point is that steady improvement does not wow the public like sudden jumps forward. He's going to have to keep producing for a couple of years to eventually get noticed, fair or not. Or lead the league in goals next year and make the jump quicker.

But the main thing to remember is the All-Star game is neither a popularity contest nor a recognition of excellence, but rather a chameleon of disappointment.

PJ Swenson said...

Give the nod to Cheechoo. He won the scoring title, he is all over the place in front of the goal, and his favorite food is moose.

Frolov had a solid first half, but there are only so many spots on the team. Cheechoo probably pulled in a few more viewers, and the powerful San Jose lobby can not be stopped.

PJ Swenson said...

And I was surprised how many people knocked the Kings moves via free agency.

They are going to be a lot better than most of the media think next season, but that is not hard. Last year they overwhelmingly picked Ottawa over Anaheim.

But they will still drive 6 hours to San Jose to lose 4 times a year. That will never change.

KMS2 said...

Who the hell drives from LA to SJ? That's Southwest is for!

As much as I love Frolo I'm actually not that upset with him being excluded from the All-Star game because I know he's not a fancy name in the NHL. Maybe if he shoots the puck a little more he'll have a break-out season and get the recognition he deserves.

Sorry, I got lost in your eyes for a second. What was I talking about?

It's like staring at Jared Leto but with the comfort of knowing that Henrik isn't gay.

PJ Swenson said...

It was a joke. The Kings charter a private jet when there is a game in Anaheim.

Robi said...

Coyotes had two all-stars, both should have never been there in the first place (Perrault and Jovoflop. Agreed, Frolov should have been an all-star