Photo: Drew Hallowell
TSN’s Bob McKenzie did his annual coach’s poll and I’m now paralyzed by superstitious, jinx-y feelings.
27 of 30 NHL coaches voted in McKenzie’s poll. A staggering 25 of 27 coaches picked the Capitals to come out of the Eastern Conference and play in the Stanley Cup Finals. Two lost souls have Jagr Fever, picking the Florida Panthers to play in a championship series I would refuse to watch.
Meanwhile, the Capitals were heavily favored by coaches to win the Stanley Cup. Washington received 16 votes while Chicago (nine), Los Angeles (one), and Tampa Bay (one) also received consideration.
Fourteen coaches chose a Washington-Chicago Cup final, but those 14 were split right down the middle on the winner. Seven took Washington; seven took Chicago. The next most popular Cup pairing (10 votes) was Washington-Los Angeles, but nine of those 10 coaches chose the Caps to beat the Kings in the final. The Kings’ lone vote as Cup champion came from a coach who envisioned a Los Angeles-Washington final with the Kings prevailing. One coach had Tampa beating Los Angeles in the Cup final; another had Washington beating Dallas for the Cup.
Twenty of 27 coaches called Braden Holtby the NHL’s best goaltender this season. Cory Schneider received five votes while Roberto Luongo and Jonathan Quick also received a vote. Shame on you, seven.
Barry Trotz also received 15 of 27 votes as the NHL’s best coach.
The Capitals, who are dominating the league standings, have been a trendy Stanley Cup pick all season. Former Cup winner Mike Modano recently picked the Caps as his championship favorite, while Vegas has the Caps as their odds-on favorites.
Now please let me go hyperventilate into this bag.
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