In what is no surprise to pretty much anyone, Ryan Callahan was not included as a finalist for the Selke Trophy for the NHL’s top defensive forward. The finalists are St. Louis’ David Backes, Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, and Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, who has won the award three of the past four years.
Backes finished the season with a line of 20-34-54 while starting just 46% of his shifts in the offensize zone (fewest among Blues forwards). Backes also led the league in Qualcomp this season.
Bergeron finished the year with a line of 22-42-64 with a +36 rating. We don’t generally like the plus/minus stat, but Bergeron’s numbers go beyond that. He is an ace at faceoffs (second in the league), and led Boston in blocked shots and takeaways. What sets Bergeron apart from someone like Ryan Callahan is that Bergeron does all this and still manages to maintain solid puck possession metrics (18.4 RCorsi compared to Cally’s -2.2).
Datsyuk is again a finalist, and finished with a line of 19-48-67 and just 14 PIMs (just seven penalties all year). Datsyuk finished 24th in the league (among forwards) in Qualcomp, and 32nd in RCorsi (13.2). When you look at the Selke, it’s hard not to include Datsyuk every year.