by PuckStopsHere on 03/15/13 at 12:32 AM ET
I made my first coach of the year pick this season about a month ago. It was Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators. I feel that he is a top coach and has been a top coach for years and it is a shame that he has not won the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year in the process. He has done a wonderful job with the Predators and has not has his due in terms of awards.
I don't think this is the year. Although Trotz is a very good coach who is doing very well with a limited amount of talent his team is struggling somewhat. Nashville is currently in 10th place in the West Conference. They are only one point back of a tie for eighth. His team has been the second lowest scoring team in the NHL and their defence is not as strong as it has been in the past with Ryan Suter in Minnesota and Shea Weber not having as dominant a season as he has in the past.
I think the best pick for coach of the year is Bruce Boudreau of the Anaheim Ducks. He has already won the award in 2008 with the Washington Capitals. Boudreau is not the strong systems coach that I usually support for coach of the year. He is more of a "player's coach" who makes things fun for his team and this leads to positive results. Generally those "player's coaches" who see positive short term success soon find things fall apart. Boudreau has a longterm record of success. Washington has not been as successful a team since they fired Boudreau and they were not particularly successful before his hiring. In Anaheim he is having tremendous success with his team. The Ducks have been a team that gets killed in terms of puck possession. Largely it is the 3rd and 4th lines and the depth on defence that has struggled. They have some big name frontline talent in Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne. This was a team that may or may not make the playoffs. They missed them last year. Nobody expected a big year in Anaheim.
Boudreau has put together a strong season in Anaheim. The Ducks are in second place in the NHL. They have only lost three games in regulation. It's a record that is too good to last over the long-term, but a 48 game season isn't really a long-term test. Boudreau has done a lot to create that atmosphere that has allowed success. That is why he is a good pick for coach of the year.
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