Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Jack Adams nominees

Bruce Boudreau was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year Wednesday after leading the Washington Capitals to a remarkable turnaround.

Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings and Guy Carbonneau of the Montreal Canadiens are also up for the award, presented annually to the head coach who has “contributed the most to his team's success.”
Those are the three fellows I would have put at the top of the list.

As to who wins, this one's a tough call. Do you reward Boudreau for turning the Capitals from a bottom feeder into a division winner? Or does the overall dominance of Detroit or Montreal get rewarded? (And let's not forget that Carbonneau's work was really a turnaround of its own after the Habs missed the postseason last year.)

Here are the records and points percentages of all three:

Babcock: 54-21-7, .701
Boudreau: 37-17-7, .664
Carbonneau: 47-25-10, .634

A difficult call, but I'll go with Babcock. This was his third consecutive 50-win season as Red Wings coach, and while you can point to the fact he's got a pretty nice roster to work with, Detroit isn't as deep as some think.

He's done a nice job coaxing a lot out of the supporting cast, something that's shown in the postseason so far.



At 4:42 p.m., May 01, 2008, Anonymous said...


Have you ever seen anything more ridiculous than John Stevens being left off the ballot for coach of the year? A 44 point improvement from last year, and he outcoached two others on the ballot in the playoffs. Whoever left him off the ballot needs to give their heads a damn hard shake. Embarrasing.

*sorry for the double post

At 4:51 p.m., May 01, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I imagine Stevens or Julien finished fourth in the voting.

You have to keep in mind how dramatically different the Flyers roster was this season. It's tough to attribute the entire improvement to better coaching (and the playoff performance doesn't factor in voting).

At 4:59 p.m., May 01, 2008, Blogger Bobby said...

Babcock? NO way - Thierren should have been on that list. He played with a minor league team half the year and still won the toughest division in hockey.

At 5:32 p.m., May 01, 2008, Blogger Nick said...

I'm biased but I don't see how you can say NO way. Here's a team that has won or has been a serious contender for the president's trophy the entire time he's been the coach... The organization also excels at getting the most out of players that have failed elsewhere or were never anticipated to be as good as they are. Do you think Babcock has nothing to do with that? I can't really comment on the competition as I don't watch that many eastern conference games, but Babcock is deserving.

At 5:47 p.m., May 01, 2008, Blogger Doogie said...

A minor league team?

I think Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora, among others, would like a word with you.

At 7:12 p.m., May 01, 2008, Blogger Hallock said...

I think it's too simple to give it to either Boudreau or Carbonneau to a lesser extent. People are easily impressed by one season turnarounds, but I'm more interested if it stands for more than a year.

We've seen a lot of teams in the last five to ten years make runs at the cup, only to fall apart completely the next season for various reasons.

That's why I think, given the list, Babcock is more impressive. The Red Wings could have easily tanked this season due to who they've lost in the last couple of years, but Babcock has kept them square on course. Now, he's spurned them towards some post-season success so far--which always seems to plague them.

At 7:43 p.m., May 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:16 p.m., May 01, 2008, Blogger Shane Giroux said...

I like Hallock's reasoning. It's easy to give it a one-season turnaround team but how about the coach whose team has had continued success.

Although I don't think the Wings could have easily tanked this season if it weren't for Babcok. That team has a lot of veteran presence that would have prevented that.

Nevertheless, he's done a great job with the roster he has.

At 9:36 p.m., May 01, 2008, Anonymous Ryan said...

I really think the awards have to be for this season in isolation. Babcock is probably the best coach of those three--he certainly has the most impressive record--but Boudreau was the best coach this year. It's his award.


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