NHL All-Star Voting Seems To Be An Eastern Conference-Only Affair

Two weeks in to the All-Star Voting process hasn't yielded many surprises, really. Fans of the host Ottawa Senators are probably the only people who really, legitimately care about this game, and as a result, they're been out in full force voting for their stars. 

In other Canadian markets like Toronto, where the game is no doubt being promoted more than in the United States, which is primarily focused on the Winter Classic on January 2, fans are also beginning to stuff the ballot boxes. 

The one surprise, perhaps, is the complete lack of interest from fans in the Western Conference. Let's look at the tallies thus far. 

All results via the NHL. First, the forwards:

  1. Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs
  2. Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators
  3. Jason Spezza, Senators
  4. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
  5. Milan Michalek, Senators
  6. Joffrey Lupul, Leafs
  7. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
  8. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
  9. Jaromir Jagr, Flyers
  10. Patrick Kane, Blackhawks
  11. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins
  12. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
  13. Marian Hossa, Blackhawks
  14. James Neal, Penguins
  15. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Of the top-15 forwards, just four of them are from the Western Conference, and those guys are only from two teams. One of those teams is in the Eastern Time Zone, too. Of the top-30 forwards listed by the NHL, only 10 of them are from the Western Conference. 

The same is true of the defensemen:

  1. Erik Karlsson, Senators
  2. Dion Phaneuf, Leafs
  3. Kris Letang, Penguins
  4. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
  5. Nicklas Lidstrom, Red Wings
  6. Sergei Gonchar, Senators
  7. Duncan Keith, Blackhawks
  8. John-Michael Liles, Leafs
  9. Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
  10. Brent Seabrook, Blackhawks

That's just three of the top-10 defensemen from the Western Conference. It's a little better when you get to the top-20 defensemen, as there are 10 on the list there, but the No. 13 through No. 20-ranked defensemen are all from the West. They're still bringing up the rear.

ln goal, the top-ranked Western Conference goaltender is Pekka Rinne in fourth place, a full 60,000 votes behind No. 3-ranked James Reimer. Seven of the top-15 goaltenders are from the West, however this goes to show how dominate the Eastern Conference will be after fan voting is done.

Only six players are voted in by the fans. Three forwards, two defensemen and one goalie. If these numbers hold, and even if they change a bit, the chances of not a single Western Conference player being voted in by the fans are extremely high. 

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