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Shutout not enough to give Panthers' Vokoun one of NHL "Three Stars"

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Final - 1.9.2010 1 2 3 Total
Florida Panthers 1 2 0 3
Ottawa Senators 0 0 0 0

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Was perusing NHL.com when I stumbled over the "CompuWhaleware Three Stars" for Saturday. Surely, Florida goaltender Tomas Vokoun's 24-save shutout over the Senators in Ottawa would earn him a spot...

Alas, nothing of the sort. Two of the "stars" were netminders, and neither had stopped every shot thrown at them.

Huh? How's that?

Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury, with 42 saves on 43 Toronto attempts, grabbed a spot. Ok...decent workload, solid result (against the Leafs, but whatever...a shot's a shot). Detroit's Jimmy Howard (the current flavor of the month) shut the door on all but one San Jose shot, finishing his night with 31 saves against a terrific team.

(Let's for a moment forget the third "star", Islanders forward Josh Bailey and his 3 point effort [1g] against Phoenix; how that trumps defenseman Sergei Gonchar's 3 points [2g] or the Capitals' Tom Poti and Alexander Semin netting their own three leads directly to a spinning wheel with names affixed in a darkened room. Just add darts.)

Back to Vokoun. How can it possibly be, on a night which featured 13 games involving 30 goaltenders, that the only one of that group to stop all shots directed his way was passed over for deserved kudos, even for a bloated non-event such as the "Three Stars"? Wasn't even a mention in the "headlines" sidebar.

Whether 12 or 24 or 36 saves, a shutout remains a Big Deal, for the player as well as his team. Right? Some folks still see it that way.

Might be time for a tin-hat dust-off.