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Thomas, Savard and Chara selected All-Stars…no love for Kessel

01.08.09 at 9:43 am ET

According to a hockey source, big defenseman Zdeno Chara, playmaking center Marc Savard and — in a tiny bit of a surprise given the parity between Boston’s two goalies —  the little-goaltender-that-could, Tim Thomas, have each been named to the Eastern Conference team set to play in the Jan. 25 NHL All-Star Game at the Bell Centre in Montreal. 

It is the second-time honor for both Savard and Thomas, and the fourth time Zdeno Chara has been selected for the squad — once with the Ottawa Senators and now all three seasons spent with the Boston Bruins. Hotshot scorer Phil Kessel has to be the biggest All-Star omission from the Bruins team. Kessel is fourth overall in the NHL with 24 goals scored this season — behind a three-way tie for first — and every other member of the Top Five (Thomas Vanek, Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Carter and Zach Parise) managed to get named to the Eastern Conference squad.


In addition, Blake Wheeler, Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Matt Hunwick are all expected to be extended invitations to take part in the newly adopted Rookies Vs. Sophomores game to take place during the Saturday Skills’ Competition.  With the Bruins also holding the best record in the Eastern Conference, it’s all but assured that Claude Julien will accept the invitation to be behind the bench coaching Savard, Chara and Thomas..


–Left winger Milan Lucic and defenseman Shane Hnidy will both be out of the lineup for tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators at the TD Banknorth Garden. Lucic is out with an undisclosed injury suffered during Tuesday night’s loss to the Minnesota Wild and Hnidy is out after taking a puck to the face during the same game.


With both injuries affecting the lineup, B’s coach Claude Julien indicated that defenseman Aaron Ward — out the last two games with a charley horse — will most likely play tonight. “I don’t know what’s going on with Looch right now,” said Shawn Thornton. “He brings that real [physical] element to games, so nobody can turn off hits. Though nobody should be turning off hits anway. We’ll definitely miss him out because he brings a lot to the table. More than just even the physical stuff.”

Here’s the official release from the Bruins about the All-Stars: The NHL announced today that Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard and Tim Thomas have been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star roster for the 2009 NHL All-Star game, which will be held on Sunday, January 25 at 6:00 p.m. ET at the Bell Centre in Montreal
(National TV: VERSUS). This marks the fourth all-star appearance for Chara, the second for Savard and the second for Thomas. All three players represented the Bruins at last year’€™s all-star game.

Chara has appeared in all 40 games for the Bruins this season, averaging a team-high 26:22 of ice time per contest. The Bruins captain has posted 7-15=22 totals, a +17 rating and 48 penalty minutes on the year. Chara is also the two-time defending Hardest Shot contest winner at the NHL All-Star game, having recorded blasts of 100.4 MPH in 2007 and 103.1 MPH in 2008. The 2009 Cisco Hardest Shot contest will be held as part of the Honda/NHL All-Star SuperSkills Competition on Saturday, January 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET (National TV: VERSUS).

Savard has tallied the fourth most points in the NHL with 49, trailing only Evgeni Malkin (63), Alex Ovechkin (53) and Sidney Crosby (51). His 36 assists rank third behind Malkin (48) and Joe Thornton (36) and he owns the best plus/minus rating in the NHL, along with teammate Dennis Wideman (+25). Savard scored the game-winning goal in last year’€™s All-Star game during an 8-7 win for the East.

Thomas, who has compiled a 16-4-3 record on the season, is among the league leaders in all major goaltending categories. He ranks fourth in Goals Against Average (2.13), tied for fourth in Save Percentage (.932), and tied for fifth in shutouts (3). Thomas played a key role in last year’s All-Star game, as he played the entire third period and earned the victory for the East.

For more information on the All-Star game, and the weekend festivities, visit

Eastern Conference All-Star Roster: STARTERS (Determined by online fan voting): Goaltender: C. Price (MTL) Defensemen: A.Markov (MTL), M. Komisarek (MTL) Forwards: S. Crosby (PIT), E. Malkin (PIT), A.Kovalev (MTL)

RESERVES: Goaltenders: H. Lundqvist (NYR), T. Thomas (BOS) Defensemen: J. Bouwmeester (FLA), Z. Chara (BOS), M. Streit (NYI), T. Kaberle (TOR) Forwards: I. Kovalchuk (ATL), M. Savard (BOS), T. Vanek (BUF), E. Staal (CAR), Z Parise (NJD), D. Heatley (OTT), J. Carter (PHI), V. Lecavalier (TBL), A. Ovechkin (WSH)

Western Conference All-Star Roster:
STARTERS (Determined by online fan voting):
J.S. Giguere (ANA) Defensemen: B. Campbell (CHI), S. Niedermayer (ANA) Forwards: P. Kane (CHI), J. Toews (CHI), R. Getzlaf (ANA)

RESERVES: Goaltenders: N. Backstrom (MIN), R. Luongo (VAN) Defenseman: N. Lidstrom (DET), S. Souray (EDM), S. Weber (NSH), D. Boyle (SJS) Forwards: J. Iginla (CGY), M. Hejduk (COL), R. Nash (CBJ), M. Modano (DAL), P. Datsyuk (DET), D. Brown (LAK), S. Doan (PHX), K. Tkachuk (STL), J. Thornton (SJS)

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