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#GRIT Corner: Don Sweeney Really boned Patrice Bergeron Edition

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Patrice Bergeron was robbed of the Selke trophy, and it's all his general managers fault.

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Hot Taek of the Day:

I didn't watch the NHL Awards last night. I was golfing when they started, and when they were ending I was sitting next to a sweaty old man in a LA Fitness locker room. His name was Daniel and he asked what kind of protein supplement I used. I told him I didn't use one, put my hoodie on and left. I have the same muscle mass as a caterpillar. Daniel was clearly up to some shady shenanigans.

Apparently, though, I did miss Anze Kopitar edge out Patrice Bergeron for the Selke Trophy. Which, frankly, is a crock of shit. Bergeron in the leagues best defensive forward. I know this. You know this. Don Cherry (when he's not antagonizing Russian teenagers) even knows this. So how on earth could this have happened?  Well, it probably has to do with the fact that Don Sweeney set him up to fail.

How can we expect the neanderthals who vote for the NHL Awards to give Bergeron any due credit when a). he's not on a playoff team and b). most of his teammates are a hot mess defensively. Sweeney built the roster; he traded Douglas "Dougie" Hamilton and Milan "Tough Knuckles" Lucic, resigned Adam "Shot Suppression" McQuaid and convinced himself that Dennis "He's German" Seidenberg is still a contributing NHL defenseman. Not to mention he traded Reilly "Good NHL Player" Smith, but we won't address that any further because if I get started I'll wind up in tears, curled up in a ball behind my recycling again.

Point is, Bergeron should have had another Selke trophy last night. Sweeney messed that up, surrounding St. Patrice with a cast of mediocre pieces.

Crunchin' The Ol' Kalkulator!

Just how good is Bergeron defensively? Well, there was an excellent writeup by Sportsnet's Andrew Berkshire back in January that illustrates just how damn good the Bruins forward is:

"When Bergeron is on the ice, he's playing the centre position, but more than anyone else in the NHL he functions as a two-position player. He plays like a centre, but also as a third defenceman. Let me show you what I mean:

Typically in the NHL, defencemen have significantly more loose puck recoveries than forwards. The reason for this is fairly simple; most look puck recoveries that teams win are in their own zone and defencemen are more involved in the defenseive zone, especially on plays like dump ins. Yet Bergeron leads the Bruins in loose puck recoveries -- and not just among forwards.

Keep in mind that Bergeron is also unlikely to be retrieving many dump ins at even strength, the defence is still handling that, so he's just winning an insane number of puck battles all over the ice. No forward in the league wins loose pucks at as high a rate as Bergeron.

Hell, if the Bruins converted their star center into a denfenseman, he'd be a top-four caliber blueliner in terms of puck recovery.

Not too shabby at all, but sure give the award to the Slovenian who is good but not nearly as legendary as our beloved 2003 draft pick. Damn you, Sweeney. You just had to trade Lucic and his toughness that the PHWA love to bits. Bergeron has never won a Selke without Lucic. Makes you think, doesn't it?

Here, I even made a very professional graph to illustrate my point:

Jimmy Murph's Rumor Mill

Hmmm, lets see what good old Jimmy has cooking for us today...

So, you're saying Yandle is going to become a UFA?

Rats. Maybe next time, bud.

The NHL Draft is Friday Night

Just in case you may have forgotten, the future of the Bruins franchise may very well be determined Friday. Will Kevin Shattenkirk become a Bruin? Will the Bruins take some more projected second round picks in the first round? Anything is possible with Don Sweeney behind the wheel!

Saying Goodbye is the Hardest Part