Foster partakes in morning skate; Western Conference All-Star voting

Posted on November 26th, 2008 – 9:19 AM
By Michael Russo

From the Xcel Energy Center press box, just a quick check-in as the Dallas Stars skate.

Marty Turco didn’t practice this morning, but fyi, as an update to what I wrote before, I just talked to Dallas Morning News writer Mike Heika and he expects Turco to start.

The Wild had an optional morning skate today, but defenseman Kurtis Foster joined the team for the first time. He asked coach Jacques Lemaire permission, and the coach said sure.

This doesn’t mean anything other than it’s just another step mentally for Foster. He’s still a long way from returning. Every time he took a shot, he looked like a peacock as he lifted his left leg off the ice and shot off his right.

Foster said he still can’t put any weight on his left leg when he shoots because a shooting pain goes down. But Foster was excited with how well it went and he said he hopes to participate in more morning skates (doubtful on practices).

The Wild will go with the same lineup tonight. Colton Gillies and Craig Weller got bagged. Niklas Backstrom will start.

Have a funny note from Cal Clutterbuck in tomorrow’s notebook after I went to him thinking I’d get a different note. The other night after Clutterbuck’s two-goal game, the Washington Post writer asked Caps coach Bruce Boudreau if he had ever even heard of Cal Clutterbuck. Boudreau said no, but Cal’s brother used to attend his hockey school.

I went to Clutterbuck to ask about that, and Clutterbuck smiled and said, “I don’t have a brother. It was me.” The first hockey school Clutterbuck ever attended was Boudreau’s Golden Horseshoe Hockey School in St. Catharines, Ont. 

He was five, six and seven.  

Couple other things: St. Louis’ Chris Mason is on fire. After stoning the Wild, Mason returned to Nashville, his former team, and had a 47-save 1-0 shootout shutout last night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was Mason’s 13th shutout in 119 career starts in the NHL. Mason’s average of one shutout every 9.2 starts is the best among active goaltenders who’ve started at least 100 games. Martin Brodeur is second with an average of one shutout every 9.9 starts.

Also, Darcy Tucker, who tried to take out Nick Schultz’s knees last month, won’t be in town next week. He’s out a month with a knee injury.

The loss to Minnesota just devastated the Caps. Three more injuries. Washington called up four players today.

From Elias also, and this is a day old, but The Islanders’ Joey MacDonald is 7-3-1 in 11 games this month following his 4-3 shootout victory over the Canadiens in Montreal. MacDonald’s seven wins in November are the most by any NHL goaltender. Boston’s Tim Thomas and Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom are tied for second with six wins each this month.

– Nashville’s Shea Weber scored two goals at Carolina on Sunday, giving him 10 goals in the Predators’ 20 games this season. Weber is the first NHL defenseman to reach double-figures in goals in a season so quickly since 1987-88, when Buffalo’s Phil Housley scored his 10th goal in the Sabres’ 15th game and Toronto’s Al Iafrate did it in the Maple Leafs’ 19th game.

Another edition of “Russo Radio” on KSTP comes tonight at 6 o’clock. So if you’re driving to the arena, by all means, call the show.

Here is the Western Conference All-Star voting so far as released by the NHL. We learn again that Wild fans don’t exactly stuff the ballot box. Niklas Backstrom, the most consistent goalie in the West this season, is fourth in goalie voting — 182,000-plus votes behind Roberto Luongo. 

      New York (November 26, 2008) – Determined that recognition of their
heroes’ latest Stanley Cup triumph continues long after the presentation of
the chalice, the parade through Detroit and the banner-raising on opening
night, the fans of Hockeytown have stormed the cyber ballot box.

      Four members of the defending champion Red Wings are among the
leaders at their respective positions in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting
presented by 2K Sports that will select the starting lineups for the 2009
All-Star Game in Montreal.

      As of this morning, six-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Nicklas
Lidstrom led all Western Conference vote-getters. And up front, forwards
Marian Hossa, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg had received the most
votes. What’s more, Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski had the
third-highest vote total among defensemen while Chris Osgood ranked second
among goaltenders behind Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo.

      However, with just two weeks of voting complete and five to go – and
fans encouraged to vote as often as they like — this election is far from
decided. Calgary fans clearly have no intention of conceding anything to
their counterparts from Detroit. Flames fanatics have supported Dion
Phaneuf with the second most votes among defensemen while making sure that
captain Jarome Iginla is within a small ballot surge of breaking into the
top three among forwards.

      The vote totals, as of 7 a.m. ET, in the fan balloting for the
Western Conference starters are detailed below.

      Through Jan. 2, NHL fans can vote as often as they like in the XM NHL
® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports to select the starting
lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal.  Fans around the world
can vote online via interactive English and French ballots at Vote.NHL.com.
Those in the U.S. and Canada also are able to cast their votes via text
message using any wireless carrier.  Real-time results are available
exclusively at http://Vote.NHL.com/results.

      Fans can vote for up to six Eastern Conference players and six
Western Conference players — three forwards, two defensemen and one
goaltender. Fans are permitted to select as few as one player — a balloted
player or write-in — per online ballot at Vote.NHL.com or via text
message.

      To vote using any wireless carrier, fans should text their favorite
player’s last name to the shortcode 81812. Fans interested in voting for
all of their favorite team’s balloted players can text the team nickname
(e.g., Bruins) to 81812. Standard text messaging charges will apply.

           The 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend in Montreal will celebrate the Montreal
Canadiens’ Centennial season with live national broadcasts of the Honda/NHL
SuperSkills® event on Saturday, Jan. 24, and the NHL All-Star Game on
Sunday, Jan. 25, on VERSUS in the United States and CBC and RDS in Canada.

XM  NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, Presented by 2K Sports
                            Western Conference
                        (as of 11/26/08, 7 a.m. ET)

Forwards

Player                       NHL Club      Votes
Marian Hossa            Detroit           181,767
Pavel Datsyuk           Detroit           176,264
Henrik Zetterberg Detroit           172,476
Jarome Iginla           Calgary     164,337
Patrick      Kane       Chicago     114,728
Ryan Getzlaf            Anaheim     101,385
Joe Thornton            San Jose    87,182
Mikko Koivu       Minnesota   87,157
Jonathan Toews    Chicago     79,893
Mike Ribeiro            Dallas            62,238
Patrick Marleau   San Jose    61,221
Joe Sakic         Colorado    58,131
Rick Nash         Columbus    55,582
Shane Doan        Phoenix     51,039
Olli Jokinen            Phoenix     44,056
Marian Gaborik    Minnesota   36,101
Ales Hemsky       Edmonton    35,342
Brad Boyes        St. Louis   33,723
Paul Stastny            Colorado    33,327
Mike Modano       Dallas            30,123
Jason Arnott            Nashville   26,536
Brenden Morrow    Dallas            26,155
Daniel Sedin            Vancouver   24,933
Henrik Sedin            Vancouver   24,232
Dustin Brown            Los Angeles 23,882
Paul Kariya       St. Louis   21,581
Anze Kopitar            Los Angeles 20,683
Milan Hejduk            Colorado    20,131
*Devin Setoguchi  San Jose    17,416
Brad Richards           Dallas            13,421
Shawn Horcoff     Edmonton    12,939
Keith Tkachuk           St. Louis   10,506

Defensemen
Nicklas     Lidstrom    Detroit           265,160
Dion Phaneuf            Calgary     215,336
Brian Rafalski          Detroit           114,001
Dan Boyle         San Jose    95,518
Brian Campbell    Chicago     87,467
Sheldon Souray    Edmonton    82,746
Scott Niedermayer Anaheim     76,962
Chris Pronger           Anaheim     72,624
Rob Blake         San Jose    72,010
Shea Weber        Nashville   58,587
Brent Burns       Minnesota   47,127
Robyn Regehr            Calgary     22,128

Goaltenders
Roberto Luongo    Vancouver   239,060
Chris Osgood            Detroit           94,514
Evgeni Nabokov    San Jose    84,499
Niklas Backstrom  Minnesota   56,890
J.S. Giguere            Anaheim     56,779
Ilya Bryzgalov          Phoenix     43,191
Miikka Kiprusoff  Calgary     26,576
Marty Turco       Dallas            25,629
Pascal Leclaire   Columbus    24,703

Note: Write-in candidates are denoted by an asterisk (*)

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