Boston Bruins

Mar 16, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Bruins had coach Bruce Cassidy (rear) talks to center Patrice Bergeron (37) and right wing David Pastrnak (88) during a time-out in the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. Boston won 2-1. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

After getting jobbed out of it a year ago, Patrice Bergeron should finally capture the fifth Selke Trophy of his illustrious career at this year’s NHL Awards.

The win would break Bergeron out of a tie with Canadiens legend Bob Gainey for the most Selke victories in league history, and firmly and officially establish the Boston captain as the greatest two-way player of his generation and perhaps ever.

And when it comes to that debate, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has officially submitted a new argument that makes Bergeron borderline undeniable no matter your approach to understanding the game.

“I would say there’s a lot of new [statistical] categories — the nerds have come up with some new ones — and [Bergeron] keeps excelling at all of them, so good for him,” Cassidy said Tuesday. “Every year there seems to be more metrics to be judged by, right? That’s great that he continues to excel in all of them. It’s what he is. He’s a great defensive player. Eye-test or stat-test, I think he passes them all.”

He ain’t wrong. Just ask one of the game’s top and most informative nerds.

(Oh, and let it be known that every mention of ‘nerd’ from Cassidy is meant in an endearing fashion, as it’s how he’s referred to his team’s analytics department in the past. I’ve always preferred the team ‘egghead,’ personally, but nerds is probably less insulting to eggheads around the globe.)

In addition to driving multiple lines that finished at or right near the top of the league in terms of possession and shots metrics, Bergeron’s offensive touch remained (25 goals and 65 points in 73 games), which has become a critical part of the award with its recent winners.

“The award has [had] a little more offensive built in over time, like a lot of awards, and I think he’s kept pace with that as well,” Cassidy noted. “To me, he’s still on top of all those things.”

Blessed be the nerds with their confirmation that St. Patrice is still elite.

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