Not much going on at the moment so I decided to try create an all star team from each division. Today I will be focusing on the Metropolitan Division. My parameters are that you can only take one player from each team and you need to have a regular starting lineup with a center, right wing, left wing, right defense, left defense, and goalie. There will be two bench positions for an eight team division. I’m going to take one forward and one defenseman. I am using cap friendly to guide me on the positions. I’ll say this, the Metropolitan Division and the way the positions played out didn’t make things easy. There are some really great players left off because of the combination of selecting a player from every team and the positional need.
Sidney Crosby, Center
This was easy. He’s still an elite player and was a finalist for the Hart Trophy last year. He's Sidney Crosby. What else is there to say?
Alexander Ovechkin, Left Wing
Until further notice he’s still the best goal scoring winger in hockey. He once again won the Rocket Richard Trophy with 51 goals last year. He’s won that award six of the last seven years. The only reason it wasn’t seven years in a row? His center on this all-division team won the award in 2016-17.
Cam Atkinson, Right Wing
He is coming off of a 41 goal season and is the perfect waterbug to buzz around the offensive zone with Crosby and Ovechkin. He skates really well, has great hands, and has good vision. I think those traits will fit in just fine. When you look at the right wing options in the division it is tough to do much better than Atkinson.
Shayne Gostisbehere, Left Defense
The Flyers don’t seem to like him. It’s very strange because he is very good. I want puck movers on the back end and he does a really nice job of it.
This brings me to his partner
Dougie Hamilton, Right Defense
When he’s not spending the day at a local museum he is among the very best defenseman in the NHL. This division wasn’t short of good right defenseman, but the way my selections played out he was the best option to place here. You can do much worse
Henrik Lundqvist, Goalie
King Henrik isn’t the goalie he used to be. He is still at least league average and that is all you need. I would have loved Artemi Panarin as the Rangers player, but it wasn’t in the cards with Ovie still producing the way he does. The Metropolitan Division had a limited number of good left side defenders or I might have considered Carter Hart in this spot. At the end of the day I'm not paying a premium for goaltending and this is the way the cards played out.
Mathew Barzal, Forward Reserve
The Islanders don’t have a ton to choose from and when you’re a center in the Metropolitan Division you aren’t likely to make the starting lineup with Sidney Crosby in the equation. Barzal is an electric player with an awesome motor. His effort in Game 1 against the Penguins last year caused Pittsburgh to overreact and not ice their best lineup the next three games. What if the Penguins win that overtime game and leave Jack Johnson in the press box?
PK Subban, Defense Reserve
It pains me to leave off Taylor Hall altogether. He deserves better than that. That said, PK Subban fits in well with what I am trying to do with the defense. I want players who can facilitate the puck and provide some offense. I am betting on Subban’s 2018-19 not being the sign of a sharp decline. I am expecting a bounce back year to being a really solid player.
This was a little harder than I thought it was going to be. There were a lot of excellent players like Artemi Panarin, Taylor Hall, Seth Jones, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Sebastian Aho, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nick Backstrom, and John Carlson left off.
Thanks for reading!