One of the Pittsburgh Penguins snubs was corrected and the NHL selected the Penguins All-Star replacement for winger Jake Guentzel. Fortunately, or unfortunately, pending your point of view, that means two different Penguins will represent the Metro Division at the All-Star Game in St. Louis on Jan. 24-25.
Goalie Tristan Jarry will replace injured Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo on the Metro Division squad. Jarry is 13-6-1 and leads the NHL in save percentage (.935), goals against average (1.99) and is tied for the league lead with three shutouts. Jarry has allowed two or fewer goals in 14 of his 20 appearances this season.
Last month, PHN asked Jarry if he had any thoughts that he could or should be considered for the honor.
“No,” was Jarry’s soft single-word reply.
It will be Jarry’s first All-Star Game appearance.
Defenseman Kris Letang was a candidate for the “Last Men In” vote, but instead, the NHL chose Letang to replace Guentzel, who was lost for the season last week after the winger had shoulder surgery.
While Letang has come under fire for recent defensive miscues, his statistics easily place him in the top tier of NHL defensemen and Metro Division defenders.
From the Penguins Press Release:
The Pittsburgh goaltender’s three shutouts on the season all came within a four-game span from Dec. 4-12. Jarry set a new franchise shutout streak record at 177:15 minutes between Nov. 29-Dec. 10., including back-to-back shutouts on Dec. 4 against St. Louis (28 saves) and Dec. 6 versus Arizona (33 saves). His third shutout came on Dec. 12 versus Columbus, when he became just the second goaltender in Penguins history to record three shutouts in four appearances (Marc-Andre Fleury; Oct. 25-Nov. 1, 2014).
Letang, 32, will be playing in his sixth career All-Star Game, surpassing Hall of Famer Paul Coffey for the most appearances by a Pittsburgh defenseman. Last year, Letang recorded five points in two 3-on-3 tournament games at the All-Star Game in San Jose, giving him six goals and eight points in five career All-Star appearances.
Letang started his strong season with at least one point in the opening six games (2G-6A-8PTS), a career-long streak to start a season. With 26 points (10G-16A) in 34 games this year, Letang ranks fourth among Metropolitan Division defensemen.
The Penguins defenseman hit the 10-goal plateau for the seventh season of his career, the most double-digit goal campaigns by a defenseman in Penguins history.
Some milestones Letang has reached this season include becoming the first Penguins defenseman to notch 500 career points, tying Coffey for the most power-play goals (40) by a defenseman in Penguins history and climbing into fifth place on the Penguins all-time games played list (781).