Voting opened for the NHL All-Star Game on Saturday. The Bruins have four players on the ballot: Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask.
Oh, and David Pastrnak, right?
Pastrnak, who's accounted for nearly a third of the team's goals and is third in the NHL in goals with 19, to go with 10 assists, is missing from the ballot.
Besides, who wants to see goals like this in an All-Star Game?
Let the write-in campaign begin. Voting closes Dec. 23. The game is Jan. 26 in San Jose, Calif.
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Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while NHL All-Star weekend and Tampa certainly seem like a good fit.
*Pro Hockey Talk has the details of the NHL All-Stars seeing the lack of Olympic participation this winger as a missed opportunity for the league.
*Speaking of Pro Hockey Talk, they also have the best, funniest and most heart-warming moments from the NHL All-Star skills competition including Brad Marchand embracing being the bad guy at the party.
*Speaking of the skills competition, what a show put on by Hilary Knight in the shooting accuracy as she wasted no time hitting all the targets.
*Brian Boyle has the best story of NHL All-Star weekend as he returns to his former NHL home in Tampa Bay for his first career NHL All-Star experience after battling cancer, and some scary health moments with his oldest child.
*Interesting piece on how Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill has turned the center position from an area of need into an asset over the last couple of years.
*Alex Ovechkin has become the first forward since 2002 to win the NHL’s Hardest Shot Competition. I still wish they had invited Zdeno Chara as an All-Star to defend his title. It really ups the interest level in the event when you have the best taking part in it rather than players that can’t even crack 100-mph with their shots.
*San Jose season ticket holders are voicing their frustration with the Sharks organization as attendance slowly ticks downward. Perhaps that’s why they’ve been selected as the host city for next year’s NHL All-Star game.
*For something completely different: Who couldn’t deny an oral history of the Homestar Runner cartoon that featured the legendary “Strong Bad” character.
BRIGHTON -- Thanks to injuries, illness and possible suspensions, the Bruins have several lineup question marks for Thursday night’s pre-All-Star game finale in Ottawa.
Both Patrice Bergeron and Noel Acciari were absent from practice on Thursday. Bergeron got the morning off after playing through, and scoring through, illness on Tuesday night against New Jersey, and Acciari was sidelined by a lower body injury that was also bugging him in the 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Bruce Cassidy expects Bergeron will be good to go Thursday night against the Senators, but a banged-up Acciari is a bit more of a question mark.
"[We] hope [Acciardi is] ready to go," said Cassidy. "If not, then we’ll look to Providence (for a replacement) and that’s an internal conversation we’ll have to have."
On the other end of the spectrum, Brad Marchand skated Wednesday at Warrior Ice Arena but may not be available after a hearing with NHL’s Department of Player Safety concerning an uncalled elbow to the head of Marcus Johansson. At this point it feels like Marchand is headed for a suspension, so it’s a matter of how many games he’ll get. He's been fined or suspended by the league seven times before.
Here are the line combos and D-pairings at Wednesday’s practice prior to leaving for Ottawa: