Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 Jack Adams trophy preview


   
  Good coaching can bring championships. Scotty Bowman, the Hall of Fame coach, won 9 Stanley Cups (a record), and was a coach during the Canadiens dynasty and the Red Wings in the 90s. Only the best coaches win the Jack Adams (best coach) award. This year's Jack Adams finalists are Mike Babcock of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Todd McLellan of the Edmonton Oilers and John Tortorella of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

       In his first as the head coach of the Leafs (last season), Babcock and the Leafs finished with 69 points, bad enough for last in the NHL. This season, they had 95 points, and made the playoffs. Their top players are all rookies. Of the 28 players on their roster, 19 of them are younger than 30, and 2 others are exactly 30. It's hard for coaches to coaches youngsters who are new to the NHL.

       After 7 years with the San Jose Sharks (making the playoffs 6 times), McLellan came to the Oilers. In year one, they finished with 70 points, which placed them last in the western conference, and second-to-last in the NHL to Babcock's Leafs. But in year two, things started clicking. 20 year old captain Connor McDavid won the Art Ross with 100 points. The Oilers finished with 103 points, making the playoffs. Pretty nice turnaround.

       After an 0-8 start to the 2015-16 season, the Blue Jackets fired head coach Todd Richards, and hired "Torts". The Jackets finished with 76 points, only ahead of Babcock's Leafs, McLellan's Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks. This year, the Jackets finished with 108 points (32 from a 16 game winning streak), obviously making the playoffs. Sergei Bobrovsky should win the Vezina. The team all around played well, and thus they had a great season.

       I think Babcock, will win, but Tortorella will lose by a vote or two. The reason I think Babcock will win is because, like I mentioned earlier, it's not easy to coach rookies. Tortorella changed the team a lot since Richards' firing.

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