New York, NY – St. Louis' David Backes, Boston's Patrice Bergeron and Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk have been named finalists for the Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward in the NHL.
Backes led the Blues with team-high totals of 24 goals and 54 points. He also paced the club with 226 hits and was the top Blues forward with 72 blocked shots.
The 27-year-old Backes was able to turn defense into offense better than any player on the team, as he started just 46 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone and finished 52.4 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone.
Bergeron finished with 64 points, good for second on the team, and placed second in the league by winning 59.3 percent of his faceoff draws.
The 26-year-old Bergeron, who led the league with a plus-36 rating, paced all Bruins forwards with 67 blocked shots and 55 takeaways.
Datsyuk had his three-year Selke win streak snapped last year when Vancouver's Ryan Kesler won it. He is a finalist for the fifth straight year, matching Montreal's Guy Carbonneau and Bob Gainey for the longest streak since the award was introduced in 1978.
The 33-year-old Datsyuk tallied at least 65 points for the seventh time in the last eight seasons and was also 10th in the league in faceoffs, winning 56.2 percent.
The winner will be announced during the 2012 NHL Awards program on June 20 in Las Vegas.