Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins went 50-50 in today’s awkward lockout-affected NHL Awards part one show. He lost out on repeating as a Selke Trophy winner, but then got rewarded for his leadership and humanitarianism by winning the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.
The Selke was presented first on this odd little broadcast–it’s part awards show, part Entertainment Tonight sit-down interviews with players when possible (phone when not possible), all topped off with a thick layer of overused video effects. Everyone knows it’s weird, too: Kathryn Tappen made sure to note that it will be back in Las Vegas next year.
So with the Selke done first, that meant we didn’t need to wait long for the letdown. Bergeron lost out to Jonathan Toews despite receiving three more first-place votes than the Chicago captain. That’s because more people voted for Toews further down the ballot and he won by 10 points. That’s really a bit of a shame considering just how proficient Bergeron is at his position. Sure, he can score and assist, but that’s not what the Selke is about. It’s about the fact that he betters his team noticeably when he is on the ice and they are just simly not as good when he’s off it.
The Bruins score an average of 3.38 goals and give up an average of 1.29 goals whenever he’s on, but that stat line becomes 2.29 goals scored and 2.37 given up whenever he’s not out there. His team’s goalies have a save percentage of .949 when he’s on the ice and a .923 by comparison.
Bergeron leads all Bruins forwards in time on ice, plays more than two minutes a game on the penalty kill, leads the entire league in faceoff win percentage (to the point that his prowess in the circle was part of why the Toronto Maple Leafs cried foul about faceoffs during their playoff series), tends to start and end his shifts in the offensive zone–basically, the same great stats that got him the Selke last year, but actually amplified a little higher.
And in the end, he lost because of how votes count: they count on a 10-7-5-3-1 point scale from first to fifth place. Oh well, there’s always next year–and a proper awards ceremony–to look to for him and the Selke.
Later on in the odd broadcast, though, Bergeron won what was termed “in a way, the most important award we have”: the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. He won because of his leadership (hey, some of those Selke-worthy stats work in this regard too) and the great things he does for a city he’s called home for a decade now, including his Patrice’s Pals program, which gives sick kids a chance to have a good time at a home game and meet him after the show.
So, you win some, you lose some. While I argue that Bergeron should have won both awards he was nominated for, the King Clancy is a tremendous honor and very well-deserved.