This seems to be an annual topic for Bruins Nation, but Patrice Bergeron has been announced as a finalist for the Selke Trophy for not the first, second, but ninth time. Finalists were revealed on the morning of July 20th. Bergeron has won four Selke Trophy’s in the past and is currently tied with Bob Gainey. If Bergeron wins, he will have the most in history.
This award is given annually, at the end of the regular season, to an offensive player who possesses defensive skills. As a player who has been consistently a 30+ goal scorer for the past three seasons and averaging 64.1 points per season during his career with the Bruins, it’s easy to look past Patrice Bergeron’s defensive skills.
He is a player that is light on his feet with quick-moving eyes, being able to spot an opportunity to redirect the puck or use a stick lift to disorient the opposing player, maintaining his cool quickly. At the same time, the rival team swarms the goal-scoring chance in front of the net or being the only possible player to stop a game-ending goal. He has a total of 44 takeaways this season.
While Bergeron can replicate a young, speedy defenseman who can quickly change the momentum and direction of the game, he is not afraid to use his leadership skills to fight for pucks in the corner or use his body to back-check, ultimately getting “in the soup,” as teammate Jake DeBrusk would say. He has an outstanding ability to analyze situations where his help is needed, especially in the defensive zone, and quickly shift those tough situations to great offensive opportunities, sometimes even granting the team an extra skater.
Bergeron is one of the team’s most notable penalty killers, and it’s not solely because of his offensive skills and ability to bury the puck from almost any point in the offensive zone. One of the most tiring points in a game is the penalty kill, but he makes his 1:43 shorthanded TOI average look enjoyable. With 46 blocks and hits this season, he’s not afraid to make a selfless play to help clear the puck, especially with the man disadvantage.
The other two finalists competing for the Selke are Ryan O’Reilly of the Blues and Sean Couturier of the Flyers.