Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Patrice Bergeron Wins His First Selke Trophy
After a bitter first-round exit in the playoffs against the Capitals and Tim Thomas' bizarre exit, the Boston Bruins needed something positive to celebrate. They got it tonight as alternate captain Patrice Bergeron captured his first Selke Trophy (best defensive forward) at the 2012 NHL awards held in Las Vegas.
It was the first time Bergy had been nominated and he's the first Bruin to win it since former coach Steve Kasper 30 years ago in 1982. Those are the only two guys in franchise history to take home the Selke. The other nominees were St. Louis' David Backes and Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, who won three straight from 2008-10.
Individual honors don't usually do it for me but I have to say that this was pretty sweet. I was definitely cheering while I watched it since Bergeron not only is one of the classiest and most professional athletes in Boston, but he's also returned from a couple of horrific concussions that looked like they might end his career way too early.
"Playing both sides of the rink is something that I take a lot of pride in," Bergeron said after receiving the award. "That's the way I learned to play hockey, and to actually win an award that's given to the best defensive forward, or two-way forward, is something very special.
"Hockey's such a team sport that I have to thank all my teammates for this right now," Bergeron said. "They're the reason why I'm here, and thanks for making my job easy."
What likely earned him the nod over two very worthy opponents was the fact that Boston's second-line center led the NHL in plus-minus (+36) for 2011-12, won the most faceoffs (973) in the entire league and had the second best faceoff win percentage (59.3, .1 behind Jonathan Toews). Bergeron paced the B's with 42 assists and he was second in points (64). Perhaps best of all, the team's steadiest forward played in a career-high 81 games.
Bergeron is at the peak of his career and it's wonderful that he was rightfully recognized by the NHL. He's no longer just a player that we all love, now everybody can point to his Selke to see what a special player he has become. PS his girlfriend that I had never seen before tonight is a smokeshow so he's got that going for him too.
Bruins captain and defenseman Zdeno Chara came in third for the Norris Trophy (best defenseman), losing to Ottawa's Erik Karlsson.