The NHL season is just about halfway over, so we’re using the moment to pick our faves for end-of-season trophy winners. The NHL Awards are messy and infrequently go to the players who actually deserve to win, so our picks reflect who should win the award, not necessarily the traditional front-runner. Feel free to agree or disagree with the picks, but these are the correct answers.
This time: The Jack Adams Award, a.k.a. Coach of the Year.
The Lightning are the best team in the NHL. They score the most goals, they have the most depth, and they are poised to make another deep playoff run barring serious injuries. Coach Cooper has the Lightning on pace for 129 points, which would be the highest total in the NHL since the Red Wings put up 131 points in 1995-96. The Lightning won the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference last year with 113 points, but their increased dominance makes Cooper the choice for the Adams Award.
The New York Islanders had a bad 2017-18, finishing second-to-last in the Metro and an even worse summer when they lost franchise-player John Tavares to the Maple Leafs. Enter former Capitals head coach and Stanley Cup champion Barry Trotz, and now the Islanders are in the Eastern Conference playoff mix. The Islanders look like a brand new team with an improved defensive system and goaltending. Trotz transformed the Islanders into a shot-suppressing unit (which was never the case with the Capitals), and he may be the real front-runner for his second Adams Award (Trotz won his first with the Capitals in 2016).
The Islanders defense and goaltending has slightly improved under Barry Trotz pic.twitter.com/WlIAYR4y6V
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) January 4, 2019
Who’s your pick for the Jack Adams?
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