NHL Awards: Selke Trophy finalists

Here’s the release:

Centers Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks are the three finalists for the 2012-13 Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is awarded “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game,” the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Selke Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced during the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, with more detail on format to be released at a later date.

Following are the finalists for the Selke Trophy, in alphabetical order:

Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Bergeron was the NHL’s top face-off man in 2012-13, winning 62.1% of his draws, as the Bruins ranked third League-wide in team defense (2.21 goals-against per game). He ranked sixth overall and led the Bruins in plus-minus with a +24 rating and played an average of 2:12 per game with his team shorthanded, slightly more than his per-game average on the Boston power-play (2:10). Bergeron is in quest of a repeat Selke win, having claimed the trophy last season in his first appearance as a finalist.

Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

Datsyuk’s all-around game helped the Red Wings place fifth in the NHL in team defense (2.29 goals-against per game) — their stingiest performance since the 2007-08 Stanley Cup championship season. Datsyuk tied for the League lead in takeaways (56), topped the Red Wings in plus-minus (+21) and posted a 55.0% face-off winning percentage (488-399). The three-time Selke winner is a finalist for the sixth consecutive year, surpassing the streaks of Montreal’s Guy Carbonneau (1986 through 1990) and Bob Gainey (1978 through 1982) as the longest since the award was introduced in 1978.

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Toews played a leading role in helping the runaway Presidents’ Trophy winners rank first overall in team defense (2.02 goals-against per game). He finished third in the NHL in plus-minus with a career-high +28 rating, including a League-leading +21 away from home; shared the overall lead in takeaways with fellow Selke finalist Pavel Datsyuk (56); placed second in the NHL in face-off winning percentage (59.9%, 559-374); and played anaverage of 1:25 per game on the NHL’s third-ranked penalty-killing unit (87.2%). The Blackhawks captain is a Selke finalist for second time, having finished runner-up to Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler in 2011.

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