Home » Editorial » NHL Power-Player Rankings: 2012 All-Star Edition

NHL Power-Player Rankings: 2012 All-Star Edition

From the Editors

Our second print edition is here!
Twenty-four pages of news and reviews you can use.
Be sure to pick up your copy today.

Welcome to contributor Kate Moretti who will take over online editing responsibility.

Thanks to Kate and all our volunteers!

Ashley & Jess

RSS Catholic News

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Check out all of Neumann Media!

With the All-Star game upon us, rather than go through the motions of ranking the NHL’s top sixteen teams, why not take a look at the top sixteen players in the league up to this point of the 2011-2012 season, regardless of if they were voted into the All-Star game or not?  To be more specific, the top six forwards, the top six defensemen and the top four goaltenders.


1. Evgeni Malkin (26G, 32A, +12)

In Pittsburgh he is better known as ‘Geno’, but considering the herculean effort he has put forth to keep this team a Cup contender in the East, he may be deserving of a new nickname.  Just over a year ago, Malkin was dealing with a lingering injury that kept him to playing just 43 games during the 2010-2011 season.  This summer the Penguins website put up some footage of Geno training at a local rink in RussiaObviously he is no Aquaman, but all of that swimming has paid off for Malkin who has not only asserted himself as the best Russian player in the NHL, but for now the clear MVP candidate of the league.

2.  Marian Hossa (20G, 33A, +24)

Despite all of the recent success the Chicago Blackhawks franchise has had, Hossa has personally struggled.  Yes, 108 points between his first two seasons as a Hawk would be respectable for just about any NHL players.  But with the contract he was signed to, you expect Hossa to be in the upper echelon of the league each year.  This year looks to be a return of the Marian Hossa from the 2006-2007 Thrashers, where he put up 100 points in a single season.  With 53 points at the break, ‘Big Hoss’ had almost eclipsed his season total of 57 points last year – not to mention he has remained health enough to play in 49 games.  Ultimately, Hawks fans should be ecstatic to see the name Hossa a top the stats in the NHL – it can only be a sign of good things to come.

3.  Pavel Datsyuk (14G, 39A, +21)

Something very strange happened at the beginning of this NHL season – Pavel Datsyuk had a miserable start to it.  But in a couple weeks time, Pavel began to fire on all engines and not only over took Johan Franzen for the team lead in points, but re-established himself amongst the top players in the NHL.  On any given day, Datsyuk has the capabilities to be the best player in the NHL and a large number of analysts would argue that he already is.  Perhaps what is most impressive about Datsyuk is his ability to raise the play of those around him to extraordinary levels by using what I am dubbing his ‘supervision’ in terms of passing the puck.  And although his trademark shootout move ‘the Datsyuk’ (not a very original name) was recently foiled, Pavel has been having the last laugh in just about every showdown he has had with a goaltender this year.

4.  Claude Giroux (18G, 37A, +0)

When the Flyers traded Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, my initial reaction was that Flyers management must truly believe that Giroux is going to be the next NHL star – and indeed he is.  Giroux exploded out of the gate this season and has never looked back, providing the Flyers with dynamic offensive production every game.  Although he was hindered by an injury to the head, Giroux has made a full recovery.  Much like Datsyuk, Giroux has accumulated the majority of his points by elevating the play of those around him.  His moves are deceiving and he knows just when to release the puck to thread the needle to his teammate(s) or surprise the opposing goaltender.

5. Henrik Sedin (11G, 41A, +13)

After what can only be described as an abysmal start for the Vancouver Canucks, the team has rallied around the play of none of than the Sedin brothers; more specifically, Henrik.  Leading the NHL in the assists at the All-Star break would be a huge accomplishment for any other forward in the league, but lets be honest, we expect nothing less from Henrik at this point in his career.  With stats like these, Sedin still has a chance to eclipse all of his career highs if he can keep up the pace the Canucks fans know he can.  Just like Datsyuk and Giroux, Sedin does the most damage to teams by distributing the puck to his teammates – but will he ever get over the 30 goal plateau!? Who knows.

6. Phil Kessel (26G, 25A, +1)

I am well aware that Steven Stamkos and teammate Joffrey Lupul technically have more points than Mr. Kessel, but my vote for the last forward of our coountdown goes to number 81.  Let’s put his season thus far into perspective for a moment.  Kessel was traded from the bruins three years ago and became known to have somewhat of an attitude problem.  Since then his single season production has peaked at 64 points during last season, but he went -20 at the same time.  After being jokingly being selected as last years All-Star game’s last pick of the captain’s draft, Kessel has struck back with avengance and already has 51 points – putting him in a position to go into uncharted territory of production for his single season statistics.  Hats off to Phil Kessel and his remarkable performance through the season so far.


1.  Erik Karlsson (7G, 40A, +5)

Not many analysts gave the Ottawa Senators a fighting chance at playoff contention at the beginning of this season.  But low and behold, the Sens have managed to prove all the doubters wrong – largely in part to the play of star defensemen Erik Karlsson.  At age 21, Karlsson only trails Henrik Sedin by one assist for the league lead and is chalking up huge minutes on the Sens back line.  He may not be a very physical player when it comes to defensemen, but he leads all defenders in power play points and has his team headed in the right direction.  The home crowd in Ottawa will be sure to show them their appreciation come this weekend.

2.  Shea Weber (10G, 24A, +16)

There are very few defensemen that possess the skill set that Nashville’s pride and joy does.  He may have missed a couple games due to the concussion like symptoms bug that has been drifting around the league, but I would argue that as of the All-Star break, Weber is playing as the most well-rounded defensemen in the entire league.  And just until the recent surge of offense from the Predators offense, Weber was leading the team in goals, assists and obviously points.  The booming shot. The bone-crushing hits. The powerful speed.  Shea’s got it all.

3.  Zdeno Chara (7G, 20A, +26)

He may not have the bolstering statistics in terms of goals and assists that other defensemen have, but Chara has quietly risen amongst the ranks of the most reliable defensemen in the NHL.  Big Z has shown us that even at his monumental stature, he can play a well rounded game. Piling up the hits, power play points, shots on goal and of course minutes per game.  This weekends skills competition will undoubtedly feature Chara and his record breaking slapshot – can he break his own record? For the sake of sliding defensemen and goaltenders, lets hope not.

4.  Alexander Edler (7G, 27A, +1)

Amongst the series of events that led up to a depressing off-season in Vancouver was the departure of big name defensemen Christian Ehrhoff.  And while the Canucks blue line is still filled with a great deal of talent, it has been Edler who has risen his play to the next level.  Edler has been throwing the body much more than we are used to seeing him do with 99 hits and his great shot and puck moving abilities have earned him 18 power play points on top of his impressive stats.

5. Kimmo Timonen (2G, 29A, +13)

I do not like to admit when I am wrong, but at the beginning of this season I made the mistake of dropping Timonen off of my fantasy hockey team.  I’m sorry Kimmo. I should have known better.  But in all seriousness, Timonen has emerged as the go to guy on the Flyers back line with the crushing blow of losing Chris Pronger for the entire season.  In fact, at this rate Timonen has a great chance to eclipse his single season career highs for points at 55 during his 06-07 campaign with Nashville.  And although the goaltending debacle is far from over in Philadelphia, at least for the time being they have found a solid defensemen to try and wipe up the mess Bryzgalov has been making.

6. Nicklas Lidstrom (10G, 18A, +22)

Yes, his teammate Ian White is having an incredible season and should be acknowledged for his efforts.  But no montage of the NHL’s best is complete without the addition of the legendary Nicklas Lidstrom.  Lidstrom continues to show that age is only a number and epitomizes what an NHL captain should be.  His steady production and well rounded play is simply remarkable for somebody at the age of 41.  There is a reason why this guy has won the most Norris trophies in NHL history (7).


1. Henrik Lundqvist (22W, .937 SV%, 1.87 GAA)

All hail King Henrik.  When the Rangers got off to a sluggish start this season, Lundqvist stepped up to his usual role of carrying the team on his back.  But now that Coach Tortorella has his team firing on all cylinders, Lundqvist has the chance to remind us why Sweeden won the Olympic Gold in 2006.  Although he may have one of the most unusual styles in the league, he occupies the crease with a swagger that very few in the NHL can compare to – not to mention that he is constantly a top the list of best dressed professional athletes.

2.  Jonathan Quick (21W, .934 SV%, 1.93 GAA)

A major theme we have seen in the 2011-2012 NHL season up until this point is the emerging trend of dynamic goaltending combinations on one team – the LA Kings do not fit in that category.  Quick has been the backbone for a Kings team that has had a somewhat of an anemic offense and underperforming defensive core.  Quick has quickly raked up over 2,500 minutes of play in net for the Kings so far and also has a league best six shutouts to his name.

3.  Jimmy Howard (30W, .926 SV%, 1.95GAA)

The 27 year old, that was at one point a Maine Black Bear, has the Red Wings flying awfully high at this years All-Star break.  For Howard, this is his third year at the clear number one goaltender in Detroit, but it seemed as though he took a step backwards last year with his numbers dropping significantly.  However, the 2011-2012 NHL season has seen Jimmy Howard lead the league with the most wins for a goaltender in the league.  Detroit is a storied franchise that has a knack for bringing out the full potential of its players.  Just of recent memory there is Yzerman, Shanahan, Lidstrom, Holmstrom, Osgood and many more……is Howard next?

4.  Tim Thomas (20W, .933 SV%, 2.12GAA)

Even though the Bruins have opted to utilize the talents of Tukka Rask as often as possible, Tim Thomas has played spectacular during his 29 games in net.  The Vezina winning goaltender has reminded many analysts about Dominik Hasek with his peculiar style of play and his ability to keep his save percentage above .93 each of his last two years.  Most impressive about Thomas perhaps are the mental strides he has made in recent seasons.  No longer do we see the Tim Thomas that constantly slammed his stick and stormed after ref’s to state his case.  Instead, number 30 has found his comfort zone and is truly looking like a NHL veteran that is calm, cool and collected between the pipes.

Joust Articles by Category

RSS Celebrity News

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
%d bloggers like this: