Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron is officially undisputed.
Tied with Canadiens legend Bob Gainey for the most Selke wins in league history since his last win in 2017, the 36-year-old Bergeron made his 11th straight Selke finalist nomination count and moved into sole possession of the No. 1 spot in the NHL record books Sunday by way of his Selke Trophy victory.
Awarded annually to the league’s top two-way forward, Bergeron’s latest victory came at the expense of the Panthers’ Aleksander Barkov and Calgary’s Elias Lindholm, and with Bergeron earning 160 of 195 first-place votes.
Bergeron’s record-setting Selke victory comes on the heels of what was perhaps his best two-way season to date.
One of 30 centers to take at least 1,200 faceoffs this season, Bergeron’s 61.9 percent success rate at the dot was tops among that group (it was also the third-best of Bergeron’s career). The Boston top-line center also led the league in faceoff wins, with 991, and had a 91-win advantage over Ryan O’Reilly in the No. 2 spot. Bergeron also remained the Black and Gold’s go-to penalty-killer for a unit that finished with the league’s ninth-best percentage (81.3 percent).
Beyond the dot, Bergeron served as the driving force of the B’s offense, with a plus-50 goal differential (99-to-49) with Bergeron on the ice compared to a minus-15 differential (158-to-173) with Bergeron not on the ice.
Bergeron also, and as always, thrived on the analytic front.
The Bruins allowed 43.6 shot attempts per game with Bergeron on the ice in the 2021-22 season, the lowest such rate in the league among centers with at least 1,000 minutes of total ice time, per Natural Stat Trick. Bergeron also topped all centers with an on-ice “expected goals against” (xGA) of just 2.25 goals per 60 minutes.
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“I would say there’s a lot of new [statistical] categories — the nerds have come up with some new ones — and [Bergeron] keeps excelling at all of them, so good for him,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy joked last month. “Every year there seems to be more metrics to be judged by, right? That’s great that he continues to excel in all of them. It’s what he is. He’s a great defensive player. Eye-test or stat-test, I think he passes them all.”
Bergeron is a pending free agent, and has made it clear that he’ll either return to the Bruins or retire.