Habs boosted by suspicious all-star voting
The NHL is investigating a suspicious spike in votes for Montreal Canadiens players in all-star fan balloting.
Fans choose the starting lineups for the all-star game by voting at NHL.com, and all six Canadiens on the ballot have huge leads in balloting for the Eastern Conference team.
Montreal forwards Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev and Alex Tanguay lead Washington’s Alexander Semin and Alex Ovechkin by more than 100,000 votes.
Defencemen Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek lead Boston's Zdeno Chara and Washington's Mike Green by 130,000 votes.
Habs goalie Carey Price has an even bigger lead. He's received 137,000 more votes than Henrik Lundquist of the Rangers.
Montreal will host the NHL all-star game in late January. If the results stay the same, for the first time in NHL history fans will have given all six starting spots to players on one team.
"I don't want to jump to conclusions at this point. There is some indication that something has happened," said NHL spokesman Gary Meaghar. "I'm not at a point where I can say definitively that something has taken place."
All-star voting rules allow fans to vote as many times as they want, but prohibit automated voting.
On Thursday afternoon, a user on a Canadiens fan website urged fans to vote using a program called Greasemonkey. The program lets users vote over and over again automatically.
The NHL says it is monitoring the voting, but has not decided what will happen to any votes determined to have been cast using automated software programs.