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The NHL’s top defensive forwards (2009-10)

With the season winding down, one of the things I want to do is take a spin through some of the major awards this final week and offer up my picks. In order to do so for the Selke, what follows is a statistical ranking I use to sort out some of the league's top defensive forwards.

The three stats I generally use come via Behind The Net and are quality of competition, goals against at even strength and goals against while shorthanded. Players also have to have played a minimum of 50 games and play regularly on the penalty kill.

Here's my list, using stats from after Saturday's games:

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NAME

TEAM

GP

QCMP

EVGA

SHGA

1

BLAIR BETTS

PHI

59

0.03

1.61

4.62

2

BJ CROMBEEN

STL

75

0.04

2.17

3.99

3

SCOTT GOMEZ

MTL

75

0.08

2.38

3.47

4

TRAVIS ZAJAC

N.J

78

0.09

1.65

6.30

5

BRIAN GIONTA

MTL

58

0.09

2.43

4.21

6

DAYMOND LANGKOW

CGY

72

0.02

2.16

3.72

7

BRANDON DUBINSKY

NYR

64

0.12

2.58

3.99

8

TOMAS PLEKANEC

MTL

79

0.08

2.26

5.33

9

PATRICE BERGERON

BOS

70

0.15

2.52

4.83

10

JOCHEN HECHT

BUF

77

0.06

2.54

3.29

11

ROB NIEDERMAYER

N.J

67

0.02

2.05

5.10

12

JAY MCCLEMENT

STL

78

0.07

2.46

4.58

13

SAMUEL PAHLSSON

CBJ

76

0.05

2.03

6.02

14

SAKU KOIVU

ANA

68

0.01

2.00

5.12

15

CURTIS GLENCROSS

CGY

67

-0.04

1.67

3.80

16

J. LANGENBRUNNER

N.J

77

0.14

2.19

6.89

17

VERNON FIDDLER

PHX

72

-0.02

2.15

3.82

18

DANIEL WINNIK

PHX

70

-0.04

2.09

2.70

19

JORDAN STAAL

PIT

78

0.04

2.16

5.91

20

PATRICK MARLEAU

S.J

78

0.05

2.38

5.20

21

DANIEL ALFREDSSON

OTT

67

0.15

2.75

4.87

22

RENE BOURQUE

CGY

68

0.07

2.56

5.15

23

MARTIN HANZAL

PHX

77

0.05

2.02

7.20

24

ALEX BURROWS

VAN

76

0.01

2.27

4.58

25

KIRK MALTBY

DET

51

-0.12

1.41

4.11

26

DREW MILLER

DET

75

-0.06

1.37

4.99

27

CRAIG CONROY

CGY

58

-0.02

2.09

5.02

28

CHRIS HIGGINS

CGY

67

0.03

2.47

4.70

29

JEFF HALPERN

L.A

67

0.06

2.32

6.16

30

CHRIS DRURY

NYR

72

0.03

2.28

5.80

Generally speaking, players like Betts don't often get much consideration for the Selke as more high profile names are in the mix. I imagine this year's winner is likely to have a decent plus-minus and some name recognition, and from that group, Langenbrunner, Staal, Marleau, Alfredsson and Burrows would all be decent choices.

Keep in mind that I'm only considering players who play about two minutes a game on the penalty kill so players like Pavel Datsyuk aren't included. Others, who kill penalties for defensive teams (like the Habs), may be a bit of a surprise.

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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