VANCOUVER -- After watching the just completed seven-games series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Jonathan Toews and Ryan Kesler were named Selke Trophy finalists on Wednesday.
The award is given out annually to the best defensive forward in the regular season and both proved in the first 82 games, and the last seven, they deserve the nomination.
Going head to head for most of the opening round playoff series neither player provided much offense as they canceled each other out.
But both contributed in Game 7. Toews, who scored 32 in the regular season, scored a short-handed goal with minutes remaining to tie the game, while Kesler, who scored 41, assisted on the Canucks’ first goal.
During the regular season Toews was plus-25 with 76 points while Kesler was plus-24 with 73 points.
The third finalist for the award is Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, who has taken home the hardware three straight years. Kesler was also a finalist last year while this is Toews’ first regular season award nomination. The winner will be announced June 22 in Las Vegas.