By Lou Korac
Alex Pietrangelo, Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Binnington will represent the Blues at home for the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Enterprise Center on Jan. 25.
The three Blues skaters were named to the Central Division roster released by the league on Monday afternoon.
Pietrangelo will be making his second NHL All-Star Game after representing the Blues at the 2018 game in Tampa.
After leading the Blues to their first Stanley Cup in June, Pietrangelo leads all Blues defensemen on goals (10), assists (21) and points (31) through 40 games in leading the Blues to a 26-8-6 record, first in the Western Conference. He is second in Blues history among Blues defensemen in goals (102, trailing Al MacInnis’ 127) and passed MacInnis on Sunday for most assists (326).
O’Reilly will be making his second consecutive NHL All-Star appearance after representing the Blues at the 2019 game in San Jose. It is O’Reilly’s third All-Star Game; he represented Buffalo in 2016.
O’Reilly has eight goals and 26 assists in 40 games this season, tied for second on the Blues with 34 points. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy winner during last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs as the MVP. He had 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 26 games.
Binnington, who was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week on Monday after going 3-0-0 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .929 save percentage to help the Blues to extend its season-high win streak to eight games, will be making his first NHL All-Star appearance after arriving in the league midway through last season; he made his first NHL start on Jan. 7 and shut out the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-0.
Binnington, who is 19-6-4 with a 2.39 GAA, a .921 save-percentage and one shutout in 29 starts, became the first rookie goalie in NHL history to collect all 16 wins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 2019, he has 59 regular-season and postseason wins, only trailing Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury (62 in 2009) in a calendar year.
One surprise was the omission of forward David Perron, who leads the Blues with 40 points and is second in goals (16) and second in assists (24).
But all is not lost.
For the second straight season, the NHL will allow fans to select four players from a list of 31, one from each team (determined by the League’s Hockey Operations Department) as part of the 2020 NHL All-Star ‘Last Men In’ presented by Adidas. The highest vote-getters by division then will be added to their respective All-Star rosters.
Voting for the ‘Last Men In’ opens Wednesday, Jan. 1, at 11 a.m. CT and closes Friday, Jan. 10, at 10:59 p.m. CT. https://www.nhl.com/all-star-ballot?partnerId=vanityVoteRedirect
The 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend will be held Jan. 24-25 at Enterprise Center, the first All-Star Game in St. Louis since 1988. The All-Star Game consists of a 3-on-3 hockey tournament with teams from each division, will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25 and will be shown live on NBC. The 2020 New Amsterdam Vodka NHL All-Star Skills competition will pit the NHL All-Stars in a variety of exciting skills showcases on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.
Photo by AP courtesy of KSDK Sports