When it comes to the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the best defensive forward in the NHL, Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron is constantly in the conversation.
A winner of the award four times in his career, this was the 10th consecutive season that Bergeron was nominated for the award. However, he was snubbed of his fifth as Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers won the honor, with Bergeron finishing in second.
Bergeron wasn’t the only Bruin to receive votes for the award. His left wing, Brad Marchand, also got some Selke love this year.
While it’s the first time Marchand received multiple first-place votes, it’s not the first time Marchand has been considered for the award, despite it being in a small capacity.
The pesky winger received a single first-place vote last season, as well as in 2017, in addition to other votes for some of the other places. In fact, he’s been a part of at least one ballot for the Selke every year since 2016 and nine out of his 12 years in the league.
Pierre McGuire pushed for Marchand to receive Selke votes earlier this season, calling him “the best-shorthanded player in the league.” There certainly is a case to be made for it. His 31 career shorthanded goals are the most among active players. According to morehockeystats.com and their advanced statistics for penalty killers, Marchand ranked first this season in their “shorthanded power ranking”.
As long as Bergeron is on the roster, no other Bruin will be considered the best defensive forward. Playing alongside a dominant defender like Bergeron will certainly help out Marchand’s defensive statistics. However, it’s still good to see Marchand is getting recognition for his underrated 200-foot efforts on the ice.