Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings are finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward.
Bergeron, who won last year, was the NHL’s top face-off man this season at 62.1 percent. He ranked sixth overall and led the Bruins in plus-minus with a plus-24 rating and played an average of 2:12 per game with his team short-handed.
“It’s not something I really worry about, to be honest,” Bergeron said Wednesday after the team’s practice at TD Garden as it prepares for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Rangers “It’s a nice honor just to be nominated with these two guys, they’re great players. To be a part of it is great, but at the same time there are a lot more things to worry about. We have a game tomorrow and that’s all I need to focus on right now.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien believes his assistant captain should win his second consecutive Selke Trophy.
“I can tell you right now, I would be extremely disappointed and would’ve been vocal about it had he not been nominated,” Julien said. “This guy here is so good at both ends of the ice, and he keeps proving it year after year. There’s not too many guys in this league that can do what Patrice does.”
Toews, a Selke finalist for the second time, finished third in the NHL in plus-minus with a career-high plus-28 rating and placed second in the NHL in face-off winning percentage with 59.9 percent.
“It’s a good feeling for sure. It’s definitely an honor and something special. You look at the other two players nominated and its an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence as those two guys so pretty cool feeling,” he said.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Toews “had an oustanding year.”
“You can mention him in Hart [Trophy] you can mention him in Selke as well. … Very deserving. We think he did a great job in that area.”
Datsyuk, a three-time winner, tied with Toews for the league lead in takeaways with 56, topped the Red Wings in plus-minus at plus-21 and won 55 percent of faceoffs.
“You see some of the stuff he does and you just can’t believe it,” Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall told The Detroit News.