Several members of the Colorado Avalanche organization have been named finalists for various pieces of hardware at this year's NHL awards. Ryan O'Reilly, Nathan MacKinnon and Semyon Varlamov are already known to be finalists for an award, and rounding out the list is none other than head coach and living legend, Patrick Roy, who is up for the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year.
In his first season as an NHL head coach, Roy guided the young Avalanche to the biggest single season turnaround in NHL history, finishing 3rd in the league's overall standings after having finished 29th the year before. Along the way, Colorado racked up 112 points, won the Central Division title, tied a franchise record with 52 wins, posted the NHL's best road record (26-11-4), and had zero regulation losses when leading after two periods (35-0-3). Roy's candidacy for the Jack Adams is obviously well deserved.
The other finalists for the Jack Adams Award are Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings and Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning. They both did outstanding jobs with their respective teams, but Roy is the likeliest candidate to take the award. The Red Wings kept their legendary playoff streak alive despite having a franchise record 421 man-games lost to injury, more than any other team in the league. The Lightning, meanwhile, had a remarkable turnaround of their own, going from 28th to 8th in league standings, but their season was overshadowed by the historic season the Avalanche were having.
Given how far the Avalanche came, how much they accomplished and how quickly they did it, Roy's chances of bringing home the Jack Adams are very good. Not to undermine the praiseworthy accomplishments of the other candidates, but the season Roy and the Avalanche had was one for the record books. Roy is likely to become the only human being on earth to have won both the Vezina Trophy and the Jack Adams Award during his lifetime.Tags: Colorado, Colorado Avalanche, Hockey, Jack Adams Award, Nathan MacKinnon, NHL, Patrick Roy, Ryan O'Reilly, Semyon Varlamov, Vezina Trophy