Hitchcock has a slight advantage on MacLean due to the fact that he came in half way through the season. It is far easier to see that a coach is the reason for improvement when you see how the team was with the same roster under another coach.
I do think that if Sens win their division, that MacLean does need to get some serious recognition. Because frankly, going from a lottery team to top in their division is a far greater accomplishment than going from a bubble team to top of their division. If that doesn't happen, Hitchcock will win it, but people are really underestimating what MacLean has done with the sens.
I'd expect Babcock to be up there again...that home winning streak was just crazy.
But it's Hitch's to win. Takes over midseason AND gets the Blues a shot at the President's trophy? MacLean, Gulutzan, Dineen have done great jobs, but the level of success that Hitch has brought to St Louis just puts him over the top.
Since when is 13 or 14 games midseason? (Edit: Or am I wrong on that, I thought he came in when the Blues were something like 6-7).
I don't know why Torts isn't even in the discussion. Even his own fans think that the Rangers overachieved. The Rangers were a fringe playoff team last year and added one piece who hasn't been even that great for most of the year.
Exactly, that's why our creative players in McDonald, Oshie, and Perron are having such bad seasons. And what exactly is his message? Please elaborate, I didn't realize you had access to the Blues locker room.
McLean is a very good coach and deserves a nomination at the very least, I do not disagree with that at all. And it really must be a joy to watch your team let in almost as many goals as they score.
Those guys you mentioned really aren't what I am talking about, as in pure high end skill guys.
Listen Hitch is as good defensive coach as there is IMO, more so than even Jaques Martin and has won a cup before with a talent latent team in Dallas.
But he has done something similar to what he is doing this year in Columbus before few season back when they led the NHL in the lowest goals against in the league (when scoring was higher) and Leclair who is out of an NHL job now won the jennings trophy and a huge 3 year contract to follow. When he got fire from CBJ, I didn't think he would get hired again soon with the new tren of going for younger or fresher coaches.
I wanna see how he handles offensive young players coming over specially from euro countries i.e. Tarasenko. Not so much with Schwartz.
St. Louis is a great team with wonderful depth pretty much across the roster, especially goaltending and they play a very successful, strict system.
Ottawa is a team with some star power, and young guys playing big minutes and some old guys looking rejuvenated in a higher scoring, more risky system.
You can't really argue that either of them aren't worthy of the trophy. As a Sens fan who is still delighted to look at the standings every morning, I'd love to see Maclean win it, but I think that Hitchcock has it in the bag.
I would give it to Hitchcock because of the defensive system in place. The Blues can give up 24 goals in their last 11 games and still be under a 2.00 GAA. I honestly cant believe the numbers defensively on that team.
Maclean has to be a strong candidate though, I honestly thought the Senators would finish 12th-15th this season in the East. However Maclean has gotten the best out all his core guys and the Senators are playing a great team game.
If the Sens manage to take the division....there is a conversation to be had.
If the Sens win the division this Jack Adams race could be pretty tight.
Most writers, analysts and fans had the Senators pegged for last in their division and to basically be challenging for a lottery pick. To win the division and finish 2nd in the East would be quite the accomplishment.
As of right now Hithcock has it, but if they can grab the division I think it could go either way.