It’s no surprise to see Pavel Datsyuk’s name as a finalist for the Selke Trophy, but he’ll have some competition to win the NHLs prize as the league’s best defensive forward this year.
The NHL announced the three finalists for the Selke Trophy and going up against Datsyuk will be Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and Blues captain David Backes.
Datsyuk is a three-time winner of the Selke Trophy taking the hardware home in three straight seasons from 2007-08 to 2009-2010. Datsyuk was a finalist again last year but lost out to Canucks forward Ryan Kesler. This is Datsyuk’s fifth time being nominated for the award.
Bergeron and Backes are each first-time finalists for the award and both have impressive résumés.
Backes led the Blues in hits with 226 while also leading the team in faceoffs taken. Backes also blocked 72 shots and was a +15 in plus/minus this year. Bergeron, on the other hand, led the Bruins in shorthanded time-on-ice and won 59.2% of his faceoffs during the year, good for second in the league behind Jonathan Toews.
The winner will be announced on June 20 in Las Vegas.
More: Here are your 2012 Calder Trophy finalists
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?