Well, let’s start by saying that the NHL All-Star Fan Balloting is a joke this year. If the results of the Eastern Conference voting that was released today stands up until the end of the campaign, the entire East starting line-up will consist of Montreal Canadiens players. If the NHL didn’t intend to do anything about this hi-tech form of ballot-box stuffing, then it should’ve just decided that for the 100th anniversary of the Canadiens, Montreal would face off against the NHL All-Stars and the voting would’ve only been for that opposing team.

Nonetheless, the only good news is that Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, who if he can’t make the All-Star ballot at least knows he’ll be in the conversation for the Vezina all year, is getting a nice round of support from write-in voters.

So far, Thomas has garnered 42,915 write-in votes. That puts him fifth among goaltenders (Montreal’s Carey Price leads the voting with 352,602 votes, almost doubling the next closest total of Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury) but first among write-in candidates. Those same Montreal fans that are screwing with the system to get their Habs in the starting line-up have only managed to put 14,016 votes on defenseman Roman Hamrlik’s ledger, and he has the second-best write-in total.

So, let those Canadiens have their fun. And know that in the difficult world of write-in voting, Thomas has managed to battle through the same way he’s always battled to make a name for himself in pro hockey and now maintain his All-Star status.

When I told Thomas about his write-in vote total, he had the best response you could expect: “Awesome.”