Blue Jackets' All-Star Game Snubs Are Actually a Good Development

By Sam Blazer on January 10, 2018 at 6:20 pm
Blue Jackets Seth Jones and Artemi Panarin skate up the ice together with the puck

Aaron Doster – USA TODAY Sports

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First off, congratulations to Seth Jones for making his second NHL All-Star game as a Columbus Blue Jacket (and second in a row). He is one of if not the most deserving of all Blue Jackets players to make the team. He has been a stalwart on the back end in what's been an up-and-down start to the year.

Now, let's get down to brass tax: The players that aren't participating for the Blue Jackets in the All-Star game are raising eyebrows.

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky felt like a shoe-in considering the amount of weight he has pulled for his team. He is above his career average in save percentage, is on pace to play more than ever before, and he is going to smash his career-high in wins as well. While those may be team metrics, they wouldn't be possible without Bobrovsky. It's a testament to just how well he has played that the Blue Jackets are as high as they are in the current standings. 

Forward Artemi Panarin is another player being criminally overlooked and is having a sneakily good year for the Blue Jackets. He is on pace to set career highs in time on ice, shots, and assists this year while still shooting way below his career average. Add in that Panarin may be having one of the most dominant seasons in Blue Jackets history in shot differential, and it's easy to see why the Breadman is a difference maker worthy of All-Star consideration.

As I prop up Panarin and Bobrovsky for their accomplishments halfway through the season, it also needs to be stated that them not making the team is a solid development.

Wait, what? Bear with me here. 

Both players are going to be playing more than they ever have during their entire career. The invisible hump of the Blue Jackets making the playoffs looks to be gone. Sustained play in the playoffs is the next hump to get over. Having their stars on fumes when it gets to the most critical time of the year isn't a good thing.

The team needs to send a player to the All-Star game regardless, but it should also be noted that Jones is getting run into the ground as well. He has approached 30 minutes played on several occasions this year and even surpassed that mark once; if the team could give him a rest as well, it would be a beneficial move for both parties.

While it's an exhibition game and minimal effort is exerted, the All-Star Game is another exercise for players to show off on a big stage. The team is going to take breaks when it can get them, and although the All-Star game is indeed for the kids, the pathway to the players is about useful utilization of the players time. 

Don't feel sorry for the All-Star snubs. In fact, it should get you excited for the team's playoff run this year. There is a lot more hockey left to be played.

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