Under Travis Green, the Canucks went 8-15-2. Their penalty kill was the worst in the NHL, and their power play didn’t do them any favours either.
Under Boudreau, the Canucks are 30-13-9. Since the day Boudreau took over, they have the fourth-best power play in the league in and rank 17th on the penalty kill.
Boudreau gave the stars room to shine. Elias Pettersson saw a 54% rise in points per game under Boudreau, as opposed to Green. JT Miller improved by 44% in the same category, while Bo Horvat improved by 42%.
The factor of the matter is this: The Canucks are a better team under Boudreau than they were under Green— and it’s not even close.
With five games remaining in the season, the Canucks still have some work to do if they want to make the playoffs. The Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings stand in their way at the moment, but it’s still possible for the Canucks to leapfrog into that last Pacific Division playoff spot.
As the old saying goes, ”the best way to predict the future is to look at the past.” Here are some examples of coaches in similar situations who won the Jack Adams.
Bruce Boudreau, Washington Capitals, 2008
We might forget that Boudreau has been in this situation before. The Washington Capitals struggled hard to begin the 2007-08 season, starting 6-14-1. In late November, the team fired coach Glen Hanlon and brought Boudreau in to clean up the mess.
After Boudreau took over, the Capitals went 37-17-7, earning them a berth in the playoffs— although it took them until the last game of the season to secure a spot.
Ken Hitchcock, St. Louis Blues, 2012
The St. Louis Blues brought in Ken Hitchcock to clean up Davis Payne’s mess in November of 2011. After the Blues’ 6-7-0 start, Hitchcock coached the team to a 43-15-11 record, finishing two points back of the Presidents’ Trophy (which the Canucks won, by the way).
Bill Barber, Philadelphia Flyers, 2000-01
Craig Ramsay’s 12-12-4 start wasn’t good enough, so the Philadelphia Flyers brought in Bill Barber to get the job done. Barber went 31-13-7, which was enough to nab him the Jack Adams Award.
Just like Boudreau this year, Barber did not suffer a loss in his first eight games behind the bench. Barber did, however, have three ties during that time.