The Frank J. Selke trophy, otherwise known as the “Patrice Bergeron award,” is given annually to the best defensive forward in the National Hockey League. This year, Boston Bruins first line center Patrice Bergeron is vying for his record-breaking fifth Selke. Winning it would break a tie with former Montreal Canadien, Bob Gainey, for the most in NHL history.
Why Bergeron Should Win
Despite a devastating game seven loss in the Stanley Cup Final, Bergeron once again proved his worth on the defensive end throughout the regular season and into the playoffs. The most mind-boggling stat from these playoffs it that, according to Bruins Stats on Twitter, in 263 combined minutes of five on five hockey against the Selke candidate, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, Artemi Panarin, Cam Atkinson, Auston Matthews, Boone Jenner, and Matt Duchene scored a total of four goals. That stat alone should win him the Selke Trophy. Some of the best scorers in the NHL were essentially held scoreless when matched up with Bergeron.
All Around Player
Throughout his career, Bergeron has been known as a 200-foot player. This year was no different for the 15-year veteran. Bergeron finished the regular season with 32 goals and 47 assists. He did this in just 65 games due to an injury that sidelined him for about a month. He also concluded the season with a +23 plus/minus which was his best mark since the 2013-14 season. Although he struggled in the finals, he finished the playoffs at a +4 mark to go along with nine goals and eight assists.
This play from early on in the Bruins’ season perfectly describes Patrice Bergeron as a complete player:
Patrice Bergeron with the DEFENSE at one end and Brad Marchand CASHES IN at the other!
— Boston Bruins on CLNS (@BruinsCLNS) October 31, 2018
His ability to force a turnover on one end and immediately create a scoring chance on the other is unmatched by any other player in the league.
Unfortunately for Bergeron, he was unable to capture his second Stanley Cup title. That being said, it would be unjust to give the Selke Award to anyone else.