The New York Islanders have the most wins in the NHL, but despite their terrific start, the teams’ players are getting very little respect in the NHL’s All Star voting. Yes, the All Star vote is a popularity contest and the Isles have been a whipping boy for the media and non-Isles fans for years, but they deserve better than that this year.
After two weeks of voting, no Islander is within the top 10 at his position in votes. Islanders faithful, this is a shame.
These Tavares and Boychuk are deserving of being named to the All-Star team this year, but they should not be the Islanders only representatives on the lists. Brock Nelson and Kyle Okposo have been every bit as important to the Islanders offense as Tavares this year in the early going, but they have not garnered the votes needed to get on the leaderboard. Ryan Strome has become a force as well for the Isles up front, and during their recent hot streak has been arguably the teams’ best skater.
On D, Nick Leddy has been excellent for the Isles as Boychuk’s defense partner, his play has been All-Star caliber and he has yet to miss a game this season, something Boychuk cannot boast. In Boychuk’s absence, Leddy has been the anchor on the Isles back line.
Goaltender Jaroslav Halak has won ten straight games, an Islanders record. After a shaky start, Halak has been the Islanders best and most important player.
There’s no way that all of these players will be showcased at the All Star game in Columbus. Every NHL team needs a representative, and that fact ensures that it isn’t possible for a team to send all of its deserving players, but that doesn’t mean that these guys shouldn’t all get some consideration and exposure.
Only the top three vote-getters among forwards, top two among defenseman and number one goaltender are guaranteed a spot on the team, so the Isles players not receiving many votes will not necessarily hurt them when the time comes to select the team, but the players should receive better support from the fan base for the tremendous job they have done this season.
This is a fan base with a bad reputation, being a part of it I know how unjust that perception is, but the team has provided us with a golden opportunity to show our support, and we should take advantage.
Vote Isles. A lot. Not because we think the voting process is a joke like the Buffalo fans, who have decided to flood the vote, but because the players have earned it.