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Patrice Bergeron named finalist for Selke Trophy 04.23.12 at 11:36 am ET
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Will this be the year for Patrice Bergeron?

The Bruins center was named one of the three finalists for this year’s Frank J. Selke Trophy Monday, awarded annually to the forward “who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.” The other finalists are three-time winner Pavel Datsyuk and St. Louis’ David Backes.

During the regular season, Bergeron led the NHL in plus/minus (plus-36) and was second in faceoff percentage (59.3). He has never won the Selke in his career.

Only three players have won the award over the last six seasons: Rod Brind’Amour twice, Datsyuk in three straight seasons and Ryan Kesler last season.

Though the fraternity of Selke winners such a small and exclusive club, it seemed throughout the 2011 postseason and this regular season that Bergeron would finally begin to get the national recognition that has somehow eluded the quiet center throughout his career.

Bergeron matches up against the other teams’ top lines, so for him to post a plus-36 (and have linemate Tyler Seguin, an extremely gifted scorer whose defensive game is nothing to write home about, finish with a plus-34) is nothing short of outstanding.

Many writers from different markets seemed to jump on the Bergeron-for-Selke, trying to correct what has been somewhat of an injustice for the Bruins’ top forward. Bergeron finished the regular season with 64 points, which was second to Tyler Seguin.

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