Cause for celebration
No one is surprised that fans voted
Those are all good stories in their own right. But the inclusion of
Legace, 34, especially is a symbol of a trend over the last few seasons where guys over 30 experience their career highs. Much like
Now Legace's an All-Star and, as such, is this year's beacon of sticktoitiveness. His first All-Star appearance just prior to turning 35 makes him not only a representative for the Blues and the Western Conference, he stands for a whole group of goalies who are making good on late career chances.
That event marked the end of Conklin's stay in Edmonton, rendering him to rent-a-goalie status. But here is, playing brilliantly on one of the highest-profile teams in the league. Conklin is on the run of a lifetime, diving, swimming and battling to make saves in any manner possible.
"Battle On" is the cry of this over-30 group of overachievers who are epitomized by Legace's All-Star recognition. It's always heartening to see hard work and persistence rewarded at last.
The Islanders visit the Devils on Wednesday in a matchup of DiPietro vs. Brodeur, who will be making his tenth All-Star appearance while DiPietro is going for the first time. DiPietro holds the lead in the season series, 3-1, however.
Staying in the east, Vokoun and his Panthers are on the road at Philadelphia (Wed.) and New Jersey onf Fri. (another all-star goaltending matchup) before wrapping up the week at Washington on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, Legace and the Blues stay within the Central Division with games at Chicago (Wed.) and then a home-and-home set with the Nashville Predators (Sat. and Mon.). Osgood and the Red Wings host the Atlanta Thrashers (Tues.) and the Vancouver Canucks (Thurs.) before heading out to California for a weekend tilt in San Jose (Sat.), which could pit Osgood versus All-Star Nabokov.