Boston Bruins

Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron is a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the 11th consecutive season, the NHL announced Tuesday.

The Selke Trophy is awarded every year to “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game,” as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. A four-time winner of the Selke, Bergeron is tied with Hockey Hall of Famer Bob Gainey for the most in NHL history.

Bergeron last won the trophy in 2017, and also won it in 2012 and 2014-15. His competition for the 2022 Selke Trophy is stiff: Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov, who won in 2021; and Flames center Elias Lindholm (no relation to the Bruins’ Hampus Lindholm), a first-time nominee and the first Calgary player to be nominated in 20 years.

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The Bruins allowed 43.6 shot attempts per game with Bergeron on the ice in the 2021-22 season, the lowest such rate in the league among centers with at least 1,000 minutes of total ice time, per Natural Stat Trick. Barkov finished 14th in the same category, while Lindholm finished 35th. Bergeron also topped all centers with an on-ice “expected goals against” (xGA) of just 2.25 goals per 60 minutes.

What Barkov has going for him is that the Florida Panthers won the Presidents’ Trophy with the most points in the regular season, with him literally at the center of it all. As for Lindholm, the Flames allowed the third-fewest goals in the league at 208. For comparison, the Bruins finished fourth (220 goals against) and the Panthers finished 13th (246).

However, Bergeron’s case for the award feels as strong as ever. Unfortunately, it may come down to whether enough hockey writers want to “allow” Bergeron to make history as the first five-time Selke Trophy winner. It should come down to the pure on-ice results, and Bergeron has a strong case as the best choice for 2022.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.

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