- The Washington Times - Monday, December 30, 2019

Alex Ovechkin may not plan to play in the 2020 NHL All-Star Game, but the Washington Capitals will still be well represented.

Goaltender Braden Holtby and defenseman John Carlson were named to the All-Star Game on Monday afternoon, the league announced.

Although that technically gives the Capitals three All-Stars, Ovechkin is declining to participate for the second year in a row. Ovechkin was named the Metropolitan Division team’s captain via the fan vote.

Holtby earned an All-Star nod for the fifth straight season, though it hasn’t been the best year of his career so far. In 28 starts, Holtby is 17-6-4 with a 2.95 goals-against average and .904 save percentage.

He told NBC Sports Washington he was “a little surprised” to get the vote.

Carlson leads all NHL defensemen with 50 points through the Capitals’ first 40 games, the first blueliner to achieve that since Paul Coffey in 1994-95. Carlson ranks fourth among all players with 37 assists along with 13 goals. He also has averaged the eighth-most time on ice per game (24:59) and is serving as one of Washington’s alternate captains for the first time of his career.

Carlson’s torrid start has led his teammates — and the Capitals’ social media team — to start calling him “Johnny Norris,” a reference to the Norris Trophy awarded to the league’s top defenseman at the end of the season. Carlson has never been a finalist for the Norris but is considered the favorite to win right now.

The NHL All-Star Game will be played Jan. 25 in St. Louis.

• Adam Zielonka can be reached at azielonka@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide