Bruins

Patrice Bergeron should be runaway Selke Trophy winner in 2022

Bruins

The biggest storyline surrounding Patrice Bergeron is what his future with the Boston Bruins might look like.

It makes sense -- the 36-year-old veteran is arguably the team's most valuable player and in the final year of his contract. Bergeron, when asked about his future, has given no indication which way he's leaning.

There's no question Bergeron is still an elite player. In addition to tallying 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) in 49 games, he's putting up jaw-dropping numbers in so many areas outside the normal box score statistics.

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In fact, the race for the Selke Trophy -- awarded annually to the league's top two-way forward -- should already be over.

Bergeron, who's won the award four times (tied for the most ever), again is the clear favorite. He isn't just having an elite season as a two-way player, he's in the midst of one of the best campaigns in recent memory.

Here's a look at where Bergeron ranks in several important defensive metrics among all forwards with 450-plus 5-on-5 minutes played, via Natural Stat Trick.

Stat Bergeron NHL Rank
Shot attempts for % 66.1 1st
Shots on net for % 68.37 1st
Scoring chance for % 67.14 1st
High-danger attempts for % 68.98 1st
Expected goals against 14.54 1st

Bergeron's dominance has not impressed every PHWA voter. 

 

Let's not forget that The Athletic's Mark Lazerus, who covers the Chicago Blackhawks, didn't even have Bergeron on his Selke Trophy ballot last season. He was one of 11 (!) voters to do that. His response to criticism over excluding Bergeron was even worse.

Fast forward to earlier this week and it was Hall of Fame hockey writer Jim Matheson pushing back on the Bergeron-for-Selke narrative.

It's true that other forwards back check, drive puck possession and help their teams defend at high level. Bergeron is not the only player who does these things. But he does them better than everyone else -- by a wide margin, too -- and that's the point.

Bergeron is having a historically good season and deserves to win the fifth Selke Trophy of his career. It might get tiring for some people to see his name among the Selke finalists every year, but that shouldn't hurt him when it comes time for voters to cast their ballot.