Yesterday the NHL revealed the winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is awarded to “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game” as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. This year it was the Florida Panthers’ captain Aleksander Barkov, who has won this award for the first time in his career.
Aleksander Barkov of the @FlaPanthers is the 2020-21 recipient of the Frank J. Selke Trophy, recognizing "the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game," as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. #NHLAwards#NHLStats: https://t.co/21yLjJXIrZ pic.twitter.com/y929TqRHrJ— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 18, 2021
Barkov led the Panthers to the second place in the Central Division with 58 points (26 goals, 32 assists) in 50 games and helped his team to advance to the first round of playoffs for the first time in five years. He beat Patrice Bergeron and Mark Stone, who ended up second and third in voting respectively, by more than 200 points, earning more than 50 first-place votes. Here’s a full breakdown of the voting:
While this season’s defensive numbers by Barkov were not as strong as earlier in his career, this is a more than deserved trophy for the Finnish player. According to Natural Stat Trick, Barkov is among the best players in the league with 60.86 expected-goal rate at 5v5 and top-20 in faceoff winning percentage, despite playing the toughest minutes on his team. According to Corey Sznajder data, he’s also one of the best in disrupting opponents’ zone entries and recovering dump-ins.
The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Anthony Cirelli, after finishing fourth in last year’s voting, received just two fourth-place and one fifth-place vote this year. After putting up a strong effort last year, the Lightning center was struggling this regular season, which was mostly caused by his mid-season injury.
The Canadiens surprisingly defeated the Golden Knights in the second consecutive game, taking a 2-1 lead in the series. The Golden Knights outshot the opponent 45-27, but Corey Price’ 43 saves kept them in the game. Cole Caufield scored his second goal this postseason, Josh Anderson scored twice, including a game-winning goal in the overtime.
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Unfortunately the Montreal Canadiens’ head coach Dominique Ducharme couldn’t watch his team’s victory live last night, as he earlier tested positive for COVID-19 and was sent home to isolate. He will be sidelined for at least 10 days. In his absence, Luke Richardson acted as head coach during the yesterday’s game.
Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme has been mandated to quarantine for an indeterminant amount of time after testing positive for COVID-19.@EricEngels has further details:https://t.co/oFeeaG3IEu— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 18, 2021
The NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes yesterday reported that Minnesota Wild’s forward Kirill Kaprizov is in Moscow and is in talks with his former team CSKA Moscow, who is interested in signing him for the KHL and the upcoming Olympics. This was however later denied by the Athletic’s Michael Russo, who reported that Kaprizov is at his friend’s wedding according to his agent.
As of now talks with likely Rookie of the yr Kaprizov & @mnwild have gone cold. My understanding is he’s in Moscow and it’s believed CSKA is interested in signing him for KHL & Olympics. @NHL @NHLNetwork #HockeyTwitter— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) June 18, 2021
#mnwild & Kirill Kaprizov’s agent say Kaprizov is at a buddy’s wedding in Moscow. His agent gave the team a heads up.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) June 18, 2021
As for CSKA rumors, that’s his only option besides signing with the Wild and they’ll offer him a ton of $, so expect those rumors as long as he’s unsigned here