With the 2015-2016 season officially behind us and new Stanley Cup Champions crowned, now would be a good time to look back at this past season and reflect on all the amazing performances we’ve seen. There have been a lot of spectacular players both in the regular and post-season, but I want to try to narrow it down to a sort of post-Stanley Cup All-Star team, encompassing the truly great players from this season. This will not be an easy task, as picking the best players from this past season must incorporate more than just goals and assists, but each player’s true value to their teams, and to the entire league. These players must have truly made an impact on their team’s success, whilst also acquiring personal glory through the season. And of course, this All-star team will include player performances from both the regular season and playoffs. For the formation of this All-Star team we’re going to pick the top four players at each forward position, and top six defenders and explain why they deserve to be on the team. So let’s take a look at the NHL’s top goaltenders.
For the goalie of this All-Star team, I wanted to choose a man that shined in both parts of the season. After much research and review, I settled on Tampa Bay Lightning’s Ben Bishop. In my mind, Bishop was the only clear choice as he performed the best in the regular season, and was a huge part of the Lightning’s playoff run – before he got injured. The Colorado native played 61 games in the regular season and had the best goals-against average in the league at 2.06, and the second best save percentage behind Brian Elliot, although Elliot played 19 fewer games than did Bishop. Tampa Bay’s top goalie was tied for fourth in wins (35) while only losing 21.
In the post-season Bishop improved, even more, boasting a 1.85 GAA and winning eight out of his 11 games played. Unfortunately, Bishop suffered a lower-body injury in Game 2 of the Pittsburgh series, which left him out for the remainder of the playoffs. Ben Bishop is a massive 6’7’’ and has a rangy frame which he uses to cover a large portion of the net. He is very quick and agile for such a tall player and showed great awareness and net presence all season.
The Final Lines
F1 – Ovechkin, Crosby, Kane F2 – Benn, Pavelski, Kessel F3 – Hagelin, Johnson, Kucherov F4 – Gaudreau, Thornton, Tarasenko D1 – Burns, Karlsson D2 – Letang, Josi D3 – Giordano, Vlasic G – Ben Bishop