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04-30-2012, 11:56 AM
NYR Sting
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Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
Meh, I don't really think of taking over during the season as necessarily being the positive for coach of the year that a lot of other people think it is. The Blues won a lot of games from the simple inertia of the coaching change. Sometimes that happens too.

As for the injuries, tougher job? The Rangers were missing their all-star defenseman and their 2nd best RD for a large portion of the season. Aside from Colaiacovo's yearly 20 games of injuries, St Louis' blueline was healthy all year. I'll grant you that McDonald, Steen and Perron missing large chunks of the season was a big negative for St Louis.
It's more than a big negative. It's 3 of their 5 most important forwards.

As for rosters, the Rangers have Richards and Gaborik, who are better offensively than anyone on the Blues except for McDonald, who as mentioned missed most of the year. However, the Blues had better forward depth when healthy. And, by the way, Pietrangelo-Shattenkirk-Jackman-Colaiacovo is just as good as Girardi-McDonagh-Staal-Del Zotto. A wash. Goalies, Lundqvist is defintely a better goalie than Halak and Elliot, but combined, Halak-Elliot had a better season than Lundqvist-Biron. Also a wash. So yes, the Rangers roster was slightly better, but not by a ton.
With so much time lost to those 3 forwards, their depth was forced to step up big time, and they did. Plus, Elliot was a question mark coming into this season Now, that might be more on their goaltending coach than on Hitch, but I view the award as recognition of the whole coaching staff.

Taking over mid-season and not having McDonald and Steen for so long, playing in a tougher conference, and in a tougher division...I think Hitch wins it easily.

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