BOSTON -- Bruins coach Claude Julien echoed the feelings of everyone in the Bruins dressing room on Monday, when he described his reaction to Patrice Bergeron being named a Selke Trophy finalist, which is annually awarded "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game."
Julien wasn't just happy to see Bergeron nominated for the first time in his career. He was adamant that Bergeron wins the award, over David Backes and Pavel Datsyuk.
"Not only is it fitting, but I think it's very deserving," said Julien on Monday. "There's times where a coach will always support his player, and say the right things. And there's other times when you have to be honest and say, well, what's the competition like, and assess it in the best way possible. In my mind, there's no doubt that Patrice deserves this.
"The way he's played this year, the things he's done to be nominated, how good he's been defensively. He's got two young players on each side of him. He's played against top players all year long, and he's the best plus-player, probably of that group.
"Faceoff-wise, I mean, he's been utilized in every situation," added Julien. "Offensively, defensively, key situations, he's done everything to deserve that. To be honest with you, I'd be very disappointed if he didn't win that. That's how I feel."