Pulling away from the pack
For the fifth straight week, Markov dominated balloting among defensemen for the league’s midseason classic to be held on the weekend of Jan. 27. The Russian blue liner, who turns 29 on Thursday, has piled up 247,246 total votes so far, over 50,000 clear of his next-nearest Eastern Conference rival Zdeno Chara (197,042).
Out of action since Dec. 1, Cristobal Huet has since been overtaken by Martin Brodeur for the top spot among goalies in the East, with the Devils netminder now holding a 12,000 vote edge.
Among forwards, Saku Koivu sits eighth with 93,435 votes while Alex Kovalev is 13th. Kovalev’s 56,945 votes are tops in the conference for write-in votes for players not appearing on the ballot.
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com