Colorado Avalanche v Ottawa Senators

Quick learner: Patrick Roy takes the Jack Adams

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In his first season as an NHL head coach, Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy won the 2014 Jack Adams Award.

First-year coaches have actually enjoyed nice immediate successes, although that’s often come in deep playoff runs rather than in bringing home the Jack Adams. Bruce Boudreau was the most recent first-year coach to pull off this feat before Roy, as he did so in his fantastic debut with the Washington Capitals in 2008.

Roy took an Avalanche team many expected to miss the playoffs once again to a Central Division victory and the second most standings points in the Western Conference. Overall, Colorado’s 112 points only trailed Boston and Anaheim, as the Avs finished 52-22-8.

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper is also very new to the job, as this was his first full season with the Bolts. He joined far-from-new Detroit Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock as the other finals for the Jack Adams.

Here are the full voting results:

Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd)
1. Patrick Roy, COL 399 (68-19-2)
2. Mike Babcock, DET 163 (11-31-15)
3. Jon Cooper, TB 136 (5-29-24)
4. Claude Julien, BOS 68 (6-8-14)
5. Bruce Boudreau, ANA 24 (1-4-7)
6. Craig Berube, PHI 23 (1-4-6)
7. Ken Hitchcock, STL 14 (2-0-4)
8. Todd Richards, CBJ 6 (0-0-6)
9. Joel Quenneville, CHI 5 (1-0-0)
10. Lindy Ruff, DAL 5 (0-0-5)
11. Dan Bylsma, PIT 4 (0-0-4)
Todd McLellan, SJ 4 (0-0-4)
13. Mike Yeo, MIN 2 (0-0-2)
14. Michel Therrien, MTL 1 (0-0-1)
Barry Trotz, NSH 1 (0-0-1)

Check out the Jack Adams winners and second-place finishers since 1990:

Year Winner Runner-up
2014 Patrick Roy, Col. Mike Babcock, Det.
2013 Paul MacLean, Ott. Joel Quenneville, Chi.
2012 Ken Hitchcock, St.L. John Tortorella, NYR
2011 Dan Bylsma, Pit. Alain Vigneault, Van.
2010 Dave Tippett, Phx. Barry Trotz, Nsh.
2009 Claude Julien, Bos. Andy Murray, St.L
2008 Bruce Boudreau, Wsh. Guy Carbonneau, Mtl.
2007 Alain Vigneault, Van. Lindy Ruff, Buf.
2006 Lindy Ruff, Buf. Peter Laviolette, Car.
2004 John Tortorella, T.B. Ron Wilson, S.J.
2003 Jacques Lemaire, Min. John Tortorella, T.B.
2002 Bob Francis, Phx. Brian Sutter, Chi.
2001 Bill Barber, Phi. Scotty Bowman, Det.
2000 Joel Quenneville, St.L Alain Vigneault, Mtl.
1999 Jacques Martin, Ott. Pat Quinn, Tor.
1998 Pat Burns, Bos. Larry Robinson, L.A
1997 Ted Nolan, Buf. Ken Hitchcock, Dal.
1996 Scott Bowman, Det. Doug MacLean, Fla.
1995 Marc Crawford, Que. Scott Bowman, Det.
1994 Jacques Lemaire, N.J. Kevin Constantine, S.J.
1993 Pat Burns, Tor. Brian Sutter, Bos.
1992 Pat Quinn, Van. Roger Neilson, NYR
1991 Brian Sutter, St.L Tom Webster, L.A.
1990 Bob Murdoch, Wpg. Mike Milbury, Bos.

Penguins ride Murray’s masterpiece to 2-1 series lead vs. Capitals

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) deflects a puck over the net during the first period of Game 3 against the Washington Capitals in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinals in Pittsburgh, Monday, May 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP
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If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.

The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.

(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)

Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.

A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.

First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.

Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.

Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.

In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.

This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.

Yes, NHL is reportedly looking at Letang’s hit on Johansson

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It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.

(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)

There are a few things we do know already.

For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.

Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.

In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.

There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.

Kris Letang may face suspension for hit on Marcus Johansson

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Update: Reports indicate that the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is indeed looking into the hit.

***

As thrilling as this Pittsburgh Penguins – Washington Capitals series has been, it seems like every game presents another controversial hit.

Game 3’s most noteworthy entry (so far?) came when Kris Letang was whistled for interference on Marcus Johansson.

Penguins fans griped that Brooks Orpik didn’t get a major penalty for his hit on Olli Maatta … now Capitals fans likely feel the same about the check Letang delivered.

Watch it in the video above. Also, Stefanie “My Regular Face” has it in GIF form:

Things could get ugly in Game 3:

One factor in a suspension happening – or at least the duration of the suspension – would be what the point of contact was:

Also, lateness of the check:

The Penguins ended the first period up 2-0 against the Capitals, even though Washington played one of its best 20 minutes of the series. Expect more drama.

Fleury suits up (but won’t start) and other Caps – Pens Game 3 notes

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who has been out of action with concussion symptoms, participates in a practice session for the NHL hockey playoffs against the New York Rangers, Monday, April 11, 2016, at their practice facility in Cranberry, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
AP
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The Brooks Orpik hit on Olli Maatta isn’t the only factor in lineup changes for Game 3 between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Maybe the most interesting change starts on the Penguins’ bench … where they likely hope that tweak will stay for at least one night.

Marc-Andre Fleury is apparently healthy enough to suit up for the Penguins, although it appears as though Matt Murray will start:

That’s a clear sign that “The Flower” is healthy enough to play, as Murray would be an injury or a coach’s pull away from giving up the net to Fleury. (One would assume.)

Murray has been fantastic for the most part since taking over for Jeff Zatkoff during this postseason, yet you know how the playoffs can be; people may clamor for Fleury after a loss even if it’s not really Murray’s fault.

Circling back to that Orpik hit, the dominoes seem to fall this way:

Penguins: Derrick Pouliot replaces injured Maatta.

Capitals: Dmitry Orlov in for suspended Orpik.

PHT will make note if there are any swerves.