BOSTON (CBS) — Once again, Patrice Bergeron has been named a finalist for the Selke Trophy.
Bergeron, the 28-year-old alternate captain of the Boston Bruins, was named a finalist for the award, which is voted on by hockey writers and is given to the NHL forward who demonstrates the best defensive skill. Bergeron was a finalist along with the Los Angeles Kings’ Anze Kopitar and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews.
Bergeron won the award after the 2011-12 season, while Toews won the award last year.
Bergeron had a truly outstanding season for the Bruins, playing in 80 games while scoring 30 goals and registering 32 assists and posting a plus-38 rating, second in the NHL and one behind teammate David Krejci. It was just the second time in Bergeron’s career that he’s compiled a 30-goal season, with the last one coming in 2005-06, when he scored 31 goals in 81 games. The plus-38 rating was the highest such mark of his career, besting his previous high of plus-36 in 2011-12, the year he won the Selke.
Playing on a line with Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith for most of the season (Loui Eriksson began the year in Smith’s spot), Bergeron was also the top faceoff man in the NHL. He won 1,015 draws, more than any player has won in a single season since Rod Brind’Amour won 1,213 in the 2006-07 season. Bergeron’s 58.6 percent faceoff winning percentage ranks him third in the NHL and first among players who took at least 1,000 draws.
“You’re gonna point probably to his goal production this year, but I think Patrice has done just as good a job defending — he’s for the most part always up against the other team’s top line,” Bruins president Cam Neely said recently on Felger & Mazz. “He doesn’t make too many mistakes in his zone, he’s a great three-zone player, he plays 200 feet, he’s great at faceoffs, great at penalty killing. I think you can take a look at [Jonathan] Toews in that category as well, but Bergy just does everything right. He’s a guy that you look at and say that’s a complete hockey player right there.”
Neely made the case that Bergeron had the best season of his career.
“I would say that, I really would,” Neely said. “His skating has probably picked up maybe half a step, he’s clicked really well with Marchand and then Reilly Smith, who’s fit in really nice on that line. It’s just his hockey sense and the dedication to playing all three zones, and he’s always in the right place at the right time making the right play. And he’s gotten better. A guy like that has got so much dedication on and off the ice, and he does a lot of things that people don’t realize in the community that go a long way. He’s a guy … we’re fortunate to have him in our lineup every night.”
The winner of the award will be announced at the NHL Awards show, which will take place June 24 in Las Vegas.