This morning, there are three Canadiens forwards in the top 15 for All-Star vote-getters. Two of them...Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta...are on the official ballot. Tomas Plekanec, who sits 13th on the list, is a write-in vote. P.K. Subban is a write-in for ninth place among defencemen, and Carey Price is leading all goalies by a mile, also as a write-in.
It all speaks to the tremendous size and dedication of the Habs fan base. That many fans pulling in the same direction has a lot of power. They can put guys not even on the ballot on the top of the list, elect an injured defenceman to the top-20 and boost a team captain who ranks 137th in league scoring up to 15th among All-Star nominated forwards.
When a fan base has that much influence, it must use it wisely, and for the good of the team. That's why it's time to stop writing Carey Price's and Tomas Plekanec's names on the All-Star ballot. No more casting votes for Cammalleri or Gionta either. It's time to get behind the Dustin Boyd for All-Star campaign.
Just think about it. The All-Star game is completely meaningless and comes in the middle of the coldest, longest, most wearisome part of a very long NHL season. Where do you want the Habs most important to any possible playoff success to be? Do you want them trying to hit corner targets in a pointless skills competition in Raleigh and playing in a goofy pond-hockey match for the glory of Gary Bettman? Or do you want them chilling on a beach somewhere, regenerating energy reserves for the playoffs?
Carey Price is on pace to play more than seventy games this year. He's never carried that great a load, but he's doing it admirably well. If fans want to see him play that way in May, they need to hope he gets a break in Februrary. Same thing with Plekanec. The guy gives all he's got every time he hits the ice. He should have the week off in the winter to prepare for shutting down the league's best players in the spring.
On the other hand, there's Dustin Boyd. Did you forget Boyd is actually on the Canadiens' active roster? Me too. The guy's been sitting so long he could qualify for handicapped parking. That makes him the perfect candidate to represent the Habs at the All-Star game. He needs the playing time. As an otherwise unused member of the team, he's available to serve an ambassadorial role. He probably won't see ice during the playoffs, so there's no worry about wearing down or risking injury to a valuable asset for no good reason.
Best of all, what better way to show the massive power of the Habs fan base than by electing someone completely unexpected to the All-Star game? You didn't include our team's fantastic goalie on your ballot, NHL? Fine, then, enjoy Dustin Boyd's shootout moves.
Right now, none of the Canadiens except Price are likely to be selected by the league to attend the game. The only way the Habs will have to go is if fans vote for them. So, fans, if you really love the Canadiens, spare them the All-Star weekend. Let them go on holiday and get ready for the stretch drive.
Vote Dustin Boyd!