The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/23/12 at 01:17 PM ET
Despite almost every pundit’s insistence that Nicklas Lidstrom makes their Lady Byng Trophy (most gentlemanly player) ballot as one of the finalists, the Red Wings’ captain was not named> one of the three possible winners of the award, so it appears that Pavel Datsyuk, who won’t win the Sekle Trophy due to the time he missed recovering from knee surgery, will be the only NHL Awards finalist from Detroit. Via NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman:
The truly elite players are the ones who can play—and excel—in any situation. The ones who are used not only when their team needs a goal, but also when it needs to prevent a goal. The St. Louis Blues’ David Backes, Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings are just those kind of players, and for that reason they have been named as finalists for this year’s Frank J. Selke Trophy, an annual award given “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”
Datsyuk is a perennial contender for the Selke, and with good reason. Besides scoring at leat 65 points for the seventh time in the last eight seasons, he was 10th in the League in faceoffs, winning 56.2 percent, while taking 32.0 percent of all Red Wings faceoffs. He was third among all League forwards with 97 takeaways. Datsyuk was second among the team’s forwards in average ice time per game at 19:34, but had a plus-21 rating and just 14 penalty minutes, the fewest of his career. He also played 1:13 per game shorthanded.
And according to Behind the Net’s QoC, Datsyuk faced the second-hardest competition among Red Wings players, behind only defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
Update: As the Free Press’s Helene St. James suggests...
Personally, if any defenseman deserved to be a finalist for the Lady Byng, I don’t know how it wasn’t Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom - and it’s a shame that his career likely will end without his ever having been recognized with it. He plays a ton of minutes, always against opposing superstars and almost never takes a penalty.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.