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In this edition of the hotstove we share our midseason selections for the Jack Adams.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been decimated by injuries this season. Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Nick Bjugstad, Bryan Rust, Jake Guenztel, Patric Hornqvist, Brian Dumoulin and Justin Schultz, among others(!), have all missed significant time. It’d probably be easier to list the key Penguins players who *haven’t* been out of the lineup for extended periods.
Somehow, despite a constantly changing lineup, the Penguins are tied for 3rd in wins, 4th in points, and one of the league’s best teams at 5v5.
You could legitimately justify this team missing the playoffs with the ridiculous amount of injuries they’ve faced. And yet they’re in the hunt for the Presidents' Trophy.
Just give Sullivan the hardware now and save everybody the trouble.
I would pick Sheldon Keefe as the Jack Adams.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are tied for first in points percentage since he took over the reigns. The Leafs are scoring more, and their special teams are much better.
Their power play is first by goals-per-hour, and their PK is 12th.
Keefe has completely turned around the Leafs, but it's not just the on-ice product that makes him a worthy choice. The team's culture has done a complete 180 since he was hired as well - just little things like using the fringe players specifically in their home towns, and having a more open communication policy with players.
(Example, much was made of when he pulled Andersen early the other night, and he patiently explained his thought process and both he and the goalie talked after about a strong exchange of ideas).
Overall, I can't see any coach in the league who's had a bigger impact.
As a runner up, I suppose you couldn't go wrong with Barry Trotz for whatever dark magic he is using to prop up the Islanders.
Numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com
Midseason Selke Trophy picks
Midseason Calder Trophy picks
Midseason Vezina Trophy picks
Midseason Norris Trophy picks
Midseason Hart Trophy picks
Thoughts on the Taylor Hall trade?
Thoughts on the Sharks firing Pete DeBoer?