Every Thursday, Earl Sleek will conspire with his pen and scanner to bring you another installment of PuckToons. Hopefully you will find these amusing, relevant, well-drawn, or you're a person who is tolerant towards mediocrity.
Congratulations to the fans of the Montreal Canadiens, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Anaheim Ducks, and the Chicago Blackhawks for dominating the online vote for the starters of the 2009 NHL All Star Game. Because of their record-setting vote totals, the twelve starters for the midseason event will be entirely represented by those four teams.
Throughout the voting process, the NHL periodically removed large segments of votes because of robot fraud, but based on the tremendous volume of All Star votes, I have to think that the league couldn't offset them all. After all, I'm a Ducks fan who didn't vote even once, and I'm quite skeptical as to the lofty vote totals for Ryan Getzlaf, Scott Niedermayer, and J.S. Giguere.
Still, as the league announces the rest of the roster from the other 26 teams this week, it's tough for me to say that the results have been that tragic -- recall that last year only eight of twelve voted starters showed up to the event, and that the opening shift lasted an average of 49 seconds. It's a novelty exhibition game, this year featuring the influence of sneaky robot votes. Let's hope they can avoid the emotional crisis pictured above.