Photo: Amanda Bowen
Barry Trotz has been singing Nick Backstrom‘s praises since he took over as coach of the Caps. He’s basically called shenanigans on Backstrom never receiving the Selke (awarded the the league’s best defensive forward) and also called him the best two-way forward he’s ever coached.
Last season, Backstrom finished 11th in Selke voting. If voters are paying attention in 2015-16, they may notice Backstrom’s making his best case for Selke yet.
Here’s how Backstrom is performing in a few key defensive metrics. His rank is out of the 355 forwards who have skated 100-plus 5v5 minutes so far this season:
|Shot Attempts Against/60||35.85 (2nd)|
|Shots on Goal Against/60||16.34 (1st)|
|Scoring Chances Against/60||18.70 (14th)|
No forward has seen fewer shots on goal against per 60 than Backstrom, only Nick Shore of the Kings has seen fewer shot attempts against, and Backstrom ranks in the top 4 percent in limiting scoring chances.
Before anyone goes all “is he playing tough minutes” on us, Backstrom ranks 4th among Caps forwards in quality of competition faced and fifth in percentage of shifts started in the defensive zone
So, might this be the season that voters take notice and give Backstrom’s defensive game the love it deserves?
All stats from War on Ice
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