Over at ESPN.com, crack reporter Pierre Lebrun’s question of the week was: Who is your current favorite for Jack Adams Award for NHL coach of the year?
Lebrun writes that Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien, New Jersey’s Brent Sutter and San Jose’s Todd McClellan garnered the most support from his readers, while Calgary’s Mike Keenan was left out in the cold.
After posting a sampling of the responses that endorsed Julien, Lebrun agreed with most of the readers’ points and then wrote: “I’ll be shocked if Julien doesn’t get one of the three nominations at season’s end.”
MK: Well, don’t be shocked Pierre. Remember, Julien got a team that had no business reaching the playoffs into the postseason and failed to reach the final three last season. At this point, Lebrun’s readers have it right — Julien, McLellan and Sutter are the three favorites. And ironically, the great job Julien did last season, and the success the Bruins enjoyed, will probably handicap their coach this time around. Sutter will probably be the choice based on his team playing great without its Hall of Fame goaltender all season. Expect Los Angeles’ Terry Murray, Florida’s Pete DeBoer or Columbus’ Ken Hitchcock to crash the top three if any of those teams make the playoffs.