by PuckStopsHere on 03/26/14 at 10:32 PM ET
One of the NHL awards that is often poorly decided is the coach of the year award. My pick right now is Bruce Boudreau. He has kept his Anaheim team playing over their heads most of the season. They are a team in the race for first place but they do not have the player personnel to be at that level. Boudreau has kept his teams playing above their talent levels for years. He is a top NHL coach.
Of course there is a multi-coach race for the award. Several coaches are considered candidates. The one that is least deserving is Jon Cooper in Tampa Bay. He is in his first full year coaching the Lightning and under him the team will make the playoffs. Last year they missed the playoffs by a significant margin. Tampa is the most improved team and coaches of the year are often coaches of the most improved team. Why is Tampa improved? Is it coaching? I think the biggest reason is goaltending. Ben Bishop is a Vezina Trophy candidate. Last year Anders Lindback and Mathieu Garon were a below average pairing in goal. Improve goaltending by that big a margin and your team will improve. Jon Cooper is hardly the reason for an improvement in Tampa. He is in the right place at the right time. How close will that get him to the Adams Trophy this year?
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