NHL

Bruins' Bergeron up for record 9th straight Selke Trophy

Boston's Patrice Bergeron and Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman are becoming regulars at the NHL's annual award night.

Lightning's Hedman a Norris Trophy finalist for 4th consecutive season

Boston's Patrice Bergeron has won four Selke Trophies previously. (Getty Images)

Boston's Patrice Bergeron and Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman are becoming regulars at the NHL's annual award night.

Bergeron was named a finalist for a record ninth straight Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward, while Hedman is up for his fourth consecutive Norris Trophy as top defenceman.

Bergeron has won four Selke Trophy's previously, while Hedman has taken home one Norris.

The other two finalists for the Selke are Philadelphia Flyers centre Sean Couturier and St. Louis Blues centre Ryan O'Reilly, while Hedman is up against John Carlson of the Washington Capitals and Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators.

Bergeron, a 24-year-old centre from Ancienne-Lorette, Que., helped the Bruins allow a League-low 174 goals as the team finished atop the NHL standings. He led Boston forwards in shifts per game (22.9), playing an average of 18 minutes 44 seconds — including 1:43 on the penalty kill — while finishing 15th in the NHL in plus/minus (plus-23). Bergeron also ranked fifth in the league with 759 face-off wins.

Couturier led the NHL by winning 59.6 per cent of his faceoffs (542-for-909). He was consistent throughout the ice, winning 59.5 per cent of his faceoffs in the defensive zone, 60.4 per cent in the neutral zone and 59.1 per cent in the offensive zone. No other NHL player topped 58 per cent in all three zones.

The 27-year-old from Bathurst, N.B., who finished second in Selke Trophy voting in 2017-18, also led all Philadelphia skaters with a plus-21 rating while pacing team forwards in both total time on ice (1,368:23) and shorthanded time on ice (140:29).

WATCH | Rob Pizzo previews East and West seeding tournaments:

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In part 1 of 10, Rob Pizzo looks at the Bruins, Lightning, Capitals and Flyers to see who may come out with the #1 seed.  1:15

60-second NHL previews: Western conference round-robin

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O'Reilly, the reigning Selke Trophy winner, led the NHL in face-off victories (880) for the third consecutive season, making him the third player to achieve that feat since the statistic was introduced.

Hedman ranked third among defencemen in scoring with 55 points (11 goals, 44 assists) in 66 games, marking his fourth consecutive season with at least 40 assists and 50 points. During the Lightning's 23-2-1 run from Dec. 23 through Feb. 17, Hedman posted an even-or-plus rating in 22 of the 26 games (plus-29 in all) and played an average of 25 minutes 43 seconds per contest.

The 29-year-old Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, native is the first Norris Trophy finalist in four consecutive seasons since countryman Nicklas Lidstrom with the Detroit Red Wings was selected from 2005-06 through 2008-09. Hedman became the first Lightning player to capture Norris honours in 2017-18.

"It's definitely a big honour to be nominated, and definitely nothing you take for granted," Hedman said. "You go into every season not looking for these kind of acknowledgments, but you go out there and try to do what's best for your team.

"To get the recognition at the end of the year is a big privilege."

Carlson helped the Capitals to a first-place finish in the Metropolitan Division for a fifth consecutive season by leading all NHL defencemen in scoring with 75 points (15 goals, 60 assists) in 69 games.

'It's huge, an honour'

The 30-year-old native of Natick, Mass., is a Norris finalist for the first time.

"It's huge," Carlson said Monday on a video conference. "You look at how long the season is, it's a long way to go and a lot of games that are very meaningful.

"There's a lot of players and coaches that have a stake in it as well. So it's an honour for me personally but it's also a cool thing for everyone within your team and organization to kind of rally behind you."

Josi led the Predators in scoring with 65 points (16 goals, 49 assists) in 69 games, joining Carlson as the only defenceman to top his club in points this season. Josi's 65 points set a franchise record for defencemen, surpassing the 61 he had recorded in 2015-16, and his 16 goals marked a career high.

"If you look at all the guys who won it [Norris] and were nominated, it's a lot of guys you look up to," Josi said. "Even those two guys John and Viktor, you love watching those guys play. So it's definitely a huge honour to be nominated with those guys."

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