Hey guys! That soul-crushing, godawful ordeal known as finals is over, so I'll be posting with more regularity now. We continue with award predictions; today I've got the Jack Adams Award (coach of the year) and Ted Lindsay Award (MVP, as voted by the players).
If you haven't read my previous article, here's how this works: I give my top 3 choices for each award (or, if nominees have been announced, I give those), with brief reasons why each could win or lose the trophy, followed by who should win and who will win each award. Ready? Off we go.
Jack Adams Award: Patrick Roy (Colorado), Mike Babcock (Detroit), Jon Cooper (Tampa Bay)
Why he could win: No coach has had as much direct impact on their team's fortunes as Roy. With basically the same roster as the Avs had last year, minus captain Milan Hejduk (and big, big plus Nathan McKinnon), he has turned around this franchise's fortunes in short order. In a pro-rated 82 game season last year, the Avalanche would have had 27 wins. They have 52 this year.
Why he could lose: The Broadcasters' Association decides that given Babcock's trials and tribulations, he should get his first (!) Adams this year.
Why he could win: The Wings lost Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, and Jimmy Howard for extended stretches of time. Yet Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and others were more than able to fill the gaps, due in no small part to Babcock's system. Also, as previously mentioned, he's never won the award before and out of all the times he's been nominated, this seems like the strongest case he's had.
Why he could lose: The Wings weren't very good for a portion of the season and barely got into the playoffs. This award should be for excellence, not treading water, no matter how choppy the waters may be.
Why he could win: Cooper has done things that both Roy and Babcock did this year; he managed the loss of Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, while turning around a Lightning team that had been mostly pathetic since their playoff run under Guy Boucher. Unfortunately, he couldn't deal with the loss of Ben Bishop as well.
Why he could lose: His early exit from the playoffs does him no favours, and we don't know if he played a role in St. Louis wanting out of the team he captained.
Should Win: Roy
Will Win: Roy
Honourable Mention: Craig Berube
Why he could win: Crosby put the Penguins on his back this year, proving during the regular season why he's the best player in the world. Despite injuries to Marc-Andre Fleury and Evgeni Malkin, he put up big numbers and powered Pittsburgh to the top of the Metropolitan Division. As evidenced in this series against Columbus, the Pens aren't the Pens when Crosby isn't Crosby.
Why he could lose: Enough players don't appreciate his, um, emotional style and vote for the other options. Also, his playoff performance thus far isn't doing him any favours.
Why he could win: Somehow, his point totals went up after he was separated from Jonathan Toews. He was subjected to the usual revolving door of linemates, which may explain why Patrick Sharp outscored him this year (along with the fact Kane played in 69 games to Sharp's 82).
Why he could lose: Are the Hawks still a Cup contender without him? Probably. And while Kane may be valuable to the league in many ways, he's no the only Blackhawk who could deserve this award.
Why he could win: He's widely recognized as one of the best leaders in the game, and his leadership was crucial in pushing Anaheim to the success that they had this year.
Why he could lose: The Ducks are still a Cup contender without Getzlaf, and his contributions to his team are not as big as Crosby's.
Should Win: Crosby
Will Win: Crosby, probably.
Thanks to The Gardiner Expressway for his kind comments in my last post. I'm getting to enjoy this blogging thing. Let me know if I should keep it up!