Canadiens coach Michel Therrien and his team had a very good year. They went from last to second place the Eastern Conference. That kind of thing will get attention from the NHL’s Broadcasters who vote for the Annual Jack Adams Award.
Problem is, there were three or four others who did a good job with their teams as well. I’m sure Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma legitimately picked up votes as well.
Montreal fans can cry foul about the Therrien omission but it is, what it is.
The tossup vote among the named finalists, was probably between Therrien and Anaheim’s Bruce Boudreau. Therrien’s Canadiens jumped from 28th to fourth overall in the overall standings. Boudreau, also in his first full year with his team, watched his team go from 25th overall to 3rd. Both teams won their divisions. Under Boudreau’s system, the Ducks increased their goal scoring and improved their defense.
The two automatics in the voting in my view were Paul MacLean of the Senators and Joel Quenneville of the Black Hawks.
MacLean put the Senators in the playoffs despite injuries to Erik Karlson, Jared Cowen, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and goaltender Craig Anderson. He managed a 25-17-6 record while making use of a league high 14 rookies and still wound up with Eastern Conference’s best defensive record.
There was talk last summer that Joel Quenneville would be fired by the Black Hawks. They kept him and Quenneville’s team responded by winning a record-breaking 21 of the first 24 games. They then coasted to the President’s Trophy with a 36-7-5 record. The team was first overall in defense and second in offense and third in penalty killing.
The eventual winner? Paul MacLean and I don’t think the vote was even close.