With the Winter Classic in the rear-view mirror, the NHL All-Star game is beginning to take view for the Boston Bruins and everybody else around the league.
With that in mind, it was a no-brainer that Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark was named to the 2023 All-Star game on Thursday night along with a number of other top performers from around the league this season. The 29-year-old Ullmark ranks first in the NHL this season in wins (21), save percentage (.939), goals against average (1.86), while also posting two shutouts and will be making his first appearance in the NHL All-Star game.
Ullmark called it a “surreal” moment for him after watching those All-Star games as a kid in Sweden.
🎥 Linus Ullmark on his first career All-Star Game selection: "I think it's kind of surreal. I remember watching when I was young…it was one of the few things that we actually taped when I was younger…it's a little surreal to be here now." pic.twitter.com/VFOJM7uARp
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 6, 2023
One of the biggest storylines for the Boston Bruins rising to be the NHL’s best team over the first half of the season has been the performance of Ullmark, who was at it again in the Winter Classic stopping 26-of-27 shots in the 2-1 win.
“I don’t even have to talk about [Ullmark]. Everybody knows what he’s bringing and what he’s brought all year,” said Charlie Coyle. “He’s been huge.”
Ullmark was the lone Boston Bruins representative picked for the Atlantic Division squad with one pick from each of the eight divisional teams.
Under the new voting format, the 12 remaining All-Star players (two skaters, one goalie per division) will be selected through the 2023 Honda All-Star Fan Vote presented by Guaranteed Rate, which will begin at 9 p.m. Thursday and run through Jan. 17. In previous seasons, fan-elected captains were voted before hockey operations chose the remaining rosters (not limited to one player per team) and fans chose a final player (Last Men In) for each team.
For the first time, the fan vote will feature a Twitter Vote, which begins Jan. 12 and ends Jan. 14. Each fan tweet must include the complete hashtag “#NHLAllStarVote” followed by a player’s full name or a player’s Twitter handle. Only referencing a last name will not count. All Twitter votes will be combined with online vote totals.
The three remaining players per team for the 2023 NHL All-Star game will be announced on Jan. 19 ahead of the February All-Star weekend in Sunrise, Florida. One would expect that David Pastrnak would have a strong case to be named to the Atlantic Division squad as well as he’s still right around top-5 in the NHL in both goals scored and points as he’s been all season.