Fans boost Sens’ All-Star prospects

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel skates through center ice during the third period of their...

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel skates through center ice during the third period of their NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings in Toronto December 19, 2011. (REUTERS/Mike Cassese)

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:52 PM ET

A little more than a month from the NHL All-Star game, four Senators are still among the Top 8 vote getters.

Naturally, they appreciate the support of the fans.

“It’s just been encouraging,” said Jason Spezza, who has received the fourth highest number of votes among forwards. “As a player, it’s nice to see the fans respect you and they’ve respected our whole group. Everybody’s got lots of votes and it seems like people have really been on board to try and get us in the game. Whether they’re successful or not, I think what they’ve tried to do is has been great from the players’ standpoint.

“It’s a little tougher market to get votes in, with not as many people. It shows people are working hard to do it and as players it’s really encouraging for us.”

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel leads the pack with 529,659 votes. Closest to him on the forwards list is Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson (445,213), who is followed by Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (434,762), Spezza (396,864), Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul (379,437) and Senators sniper Milan Michalek (366,873).

Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson continues to lead all defencemen with 486,171 votes, which is about 23,000 more than Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf.

Toronto’s James Reimer doesn’t have comparable numbers on the stats sheet but he has overtaken Boston’s Tim Thomas in goaltender voting. Reimer has 360,061 votes compared to Thomas’ 342,792.


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