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  1. #1
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    Malholtra for Selke?

    While the common perception would be that the job of an NHL forward is to put the puck in the opponent's net, it's also important the guys up front be defensively sound as well. While it might not lead to as many endorsement deals or big-money contracts as scoring 40-plus goals a season, a solid two-way forward is worth his weight in gold as far as his coach is concerned.

    The Frank J. Selke Trophy is awarded annually "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game." Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings has laid claim to it each of the last three seasons, and he's once again looking like a solid candidate. However, he has his challengers who also understood that keeping the red light behind their own goaltender off can be just as important as turning on the one at the other end.

    Let's check out NHL.com's rundown of the Selke Trophy field at the halfway point:

    Winner:

    Manny Malhotra, C, Vancouver Canucks -- Not much has changed for since the quarter point of the season. Malhotra is still the best pure defensive center in the game right now, constantly facing the offensive stars of the opposition. If the Canucks face the Sharks, he draws Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley. If the Canucks face the Flames, he's on Jarome Iginla duty most of the night. Malhotra is ninth in the League among forwards in blocked shots with 39 and second in faceoff percentage at 63.6. His plus-2 isn't going to blow anyone away, but it's very impressive considering the level of competition he faces every night. Malhotra's presence has also freed up Ryan Kesler, a terrific checker in his own right, to focus more on his offense. So far it's paid off, as Kesler is on pace for his first 40-goal season.

    Runners-up

    Pavel Datsyuk, C, Detroit Red Wings -- Despite an ever-so-slightly diminished role as a checker this season, he's still done enough at the halfway point to warrant consideration. He's tied for second in the League in takeaways with 47 and ranks 14th in faceoff percentage at 56.2 The 32-year-old Datsyuk defers to youngsters Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller on the penalty kill, but the three-time Selke winner is still good enough to remain in contention for this season's award.

    Tomas Plekanec, C, Montreal Canadiens -- He wasn't among the top three six weeks ago, but he's done enough to join the list. He's the top penalty-killing forward on the top penalty-killing team. Plekanec doesn't draw the tough even-strength assignments as often as Malhotra and Giroux. Still, Plekanec can't slack defensively.
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=5...id=DL|NHL|home
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  2. #2
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    Dumb. I honestly think Kesler is a better defensive forward, and then you add in the offence from Kesler and he deserves it way more.

  3. #3
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    I mean i wouldn't be upset if Manny won it since he's on the team, but if Kesler doesn't get it this year i have no idea what he has to do to win it...?

    Also, this just justifies the contract for Malholtra, too many people were against the length/terms but now those people are looking like morons.
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  4. #4
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    Well, it is definitely worth it this year, but it is a 3 year deal. Not saying it won't be worth it, since I think theres a chance Many gets BETTER with age.

  5. #5
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    This weekend marks the three-quarter point of the 2010-11 regular season.

    As we hit the quarter pole, NHL.com takes a comprehensive look at where things stand. Certainly, the New Jersey Devils have been the main story line of the past month, making an unprecedented run at an unexpected playoff berth. But, there are also six other storylines that merit your attention in the final two months of the season. Also, we look at potential candidates for each of the major NHL Awards in our on-going Trophy Tracker features. Finally, we have updated our fantasy rankings as we head into the final 20-game portion of the regular season.

    "The Frank J. Selke Trophy is an annual award given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game."

    Pretty straightforward wording to determine who wins the award, right?

    The only problem for those who have to pick the player who deserves the trophy is deciding what constitutes good defense. Is it takeaways? Is it plus-minus? Can't we just add the two numbers and give the award to that guy?

    There might not be a more subjective award that's handed out by the NHL.

    For me, there are three very important components to how good a player is defensively:

    1. Is the player consistently matched up against the best offensive players on the opposing team and does he hold them off the scoreboard?

    2. Does the player excel when his team is shorthanded, the time when a coach wants his best defenders on the ice?

    3. Is the player an asset when it comes to blocking shots and taking away the puck?

    Other criteria like shorthanded goals and plus-minus involve defense as a component, but the player's offensive ability can also play a large role in piling up numbers in those categories. It's not that those categories should be ignored, but they aren't as important as the other statistics.

    That's why I'm taking Vancouver's Manny Malhotra as the Selke winner at this point in the season with teammate Ryan Kesler and Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron as the other two finalists.
    Manny Malhotra, Vancouver Canucks -- There are two aspects to his game that blow me away when I try to find someone else to choose instead of him -- he leads all forwards in blocked shots (68) and shorthanded faceoffs won (132 of 214, 61.7 percent). The Canucks' penalty-killing unit has gone from 18th to 4th in Malhotra's first season in Vancouver. He only has 8 goals, but one of them came while shorthanded. Detractors will point to his mediocre plus-3 rating, but when you consider he's earned that without the luxury of being an offensive force while facing the Western Conference's best offensive players every game, it's extremely impressive. Even with Canucks defensemen dropping like flies over the last few weeks, none of Malhotra's numbers have dipped one bit.

    Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins -- Much like Malhotra, Bergeron is used primarily against the opposition's top line. He's the best defensive forward on the League's best defensive team. He leads Bruins forwards in blocked shots (45) and takeaways (33). He's won the 13th most shorthanded draws (89-of-169, 52.6 percent) in the League and has two shorthanded goals. He wins faceoffs, checks the best players and has a plus-21 rating. With 20 goals and 29 assists, he has the type of overall numbers that should draw serious consideration from voters.

    Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks -- The reason for two Canucks on this list is because while almost every Canuck defenseman has suffered a serious injury of late, Kesler has stepped up his game to help keep his team among the best goals allowed. He's fourth in blocked shots in the League with 63 and is also an important reason for the Canucks' improved PK unit and has 3 shorthanded goals. He also leads Canucks forwards with 51 takeaways. The drawback is while Malhotra is posting his numbers against offensive greats, Kesler is free to focus on his offense. Kesler, a finalist for the Selke the past two seasons, hasn't slacked on his defense at all this season, but his responsibilities have been lessened by Malhotra's presence.
    http://canucks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=554144

    Wow, I didn't realize Kesler had that many blocked shots.
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  6. #6
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    I believe we'll see both Malholtra and Kesler nominated. I'm not too sure who will win though. Datsyuk's back as well and could make a case. Zetty's another guy who's a dark horse and you cannot count out Bergeron who's having an excellent season for the Bruins.

  7. #7
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    Honestly the award is meaningless to me, I`m just glad we have two of the top 5 defensive forwards in the league

  8. #8
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    If either Kesler or Malholtra wins that it's nice. Win the cup and who cares. No offense, but that's all that matters to me. I am praying one of the two teams wins it all. Screw Detroit, Washington, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Phoenix, Boston etc. Philadelphia or Vancouver.

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  9. #9
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    Van SC, Daniel Hart, Kesler wins Selke, Luongo wins Vezina, Schneider wins Calder.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiants5518 View Post
    Van SC, Daniel Hart, Kesler wins Selke, Luongo wins Vezina, Schneider wins Calder.
    I doubt Schneider will beat out Skinner and Carlson. Those have to be the front runners. Awards are nice. That's all that matters.

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  11. #11
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    Malholtra - Selke
    Kesler - Hart
    Daniel - Art Ross

  12. #12
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    Couture has a shot to win it. And so does Grabner ()
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiants5518 View Post
    Couture has a shot to win it. And so does Grabner ()
    Yeah, I never wanted to move Grabner. I keep forgetting Couture.

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  14. #14
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    Couture is a beast. But I think right now the Calder is Skinner's to lose.
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