Let’s take a break from analyzing the Hawks bear-mauling of Scum last night — though it is fun to revel in — and focus on some other news that broke this week. As you know by now, Toews is one of three finalists for the Selke Award, given to the best defensive forward (and actually, center, but more on that in a bit). The others are the excellent Patrice Bergeron and the finalist-until-three-days-after-he’s-dead, Pavel Datsyuk. This has been coming for years, as we were trumpeting him for the award as early as the ’08-’09 season.
This is such an odd award, much like the Norris has become or the Gold Glove award in baseball has been (which is why Darwin Barney’s win last year was really a surprise). Because the true defensive centers really get no attention. Jay McClement is one who does excellent work, but he doesn’t score a lot so there’s almost no chance he’ll be considered. Gregory Campbell is another. You get the idea. So in order to win a defensive award, you really do have to score to get noticed.