On the campaign trail: Day 16
Should the trend stay its course, the Habs would become the first team in history of the All-Star fan balloting to successfully elect all of its delegates to the starting lineup. The previous single-team high was five; the Edmonton Oilers sent a quintet to open the 1986 All-Star Game in Hartford.
As of midday on Day 16, all six candidates have put the 340,000 mark in the rearview mirror. Andrei Markov, who continues to top the pack not just in his riding but the league overall, appears determined to have a record campaign, as he approaches 400,000 votes. While competitors are having a tough time closing the gap, Pittsburgh delegate Sidney Crosby has seen a bump in his numbers over the last seven days, surpassing 260,000 ballots cast in his favor.
In Detroit on Wednesday night to for a debate with four of the six leaders from the Western Conference, the Canadiens, with plenty of supporters in the crowd, made a strong case for themselves, taking down the defending champs on their own turf. They’ll now take their act to the U.S. capital to face fellow delegate Alex Ovechkin.
The next few weeks will be key for the Montreal contingent. With the polls scheduled to close on Jan. 2, the Canadiens return home following Friday’s contest, where they’ll hold 10 of their next 11 debates.
* Results as of Nov. 27 at 2:20 PM.