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.Those are the three fellows I would have put at the top of the list.
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.”
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.