Why Paul MacLean should win the Jack Adams this year, or maybe why he shouldn’t.


The Jack Adams award is generally awarded to one of three types of coaches: 1) the one whose team wins so handily that it is assumed, in this era of parity, that it must be the coach’s system that provides that decisive edge, or 2) a coach who takes over for a team in mid-season after the incumbent is fired and turns around the team’s fortunes, steering them away from the brink of disaster and into the playoffs, or 3) a coach whose team outperforms expectations, but only because those expectations were terrible.

Mid-season consensus seems to be that the Adams is Joel Quenneville’s to lose, what with the Blackhawks leading the entire league and the next closest team by five points (which might as well be an ocean in these standings, and especially in the West). Looking at the probabilities, the only way Chicago can miss the playoffs is if they lose their last 20 games in regulation. They need two more regulation wins to clinch a playoff spot, and we’re not even at the deadline yet.

Why Paul MacLean SHOULD win the Jack Adams

Not to diminish how amazing Chicago’s run is, but we can’t ignore that the Hawks have the sixth highest payroll in the league at $66,440,128, compared to Ottawa, at sixth last, with $53,594,377. And then of course you factor in Ottawa’s injuries. Without Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Erik Karlsson, Craig Anderson, Mike Lundin, Jared Cowen, and Dave Dziurzynski, Ottawa’s payroll is more like $33,458,544. Which would put them last in the league in payroll by a staggering $17MM.

So not only are the Blackhawks playing with roughly double the active salaries of the Senators, they’re also a team that is keeping pace with almost every other team’s salaries. Ottawa isn’t even close. If they get all of their premier players back they’ll be catapulted back into their usual spot right at the bottom of the salary chain, competing with the Columbuses and Nashvilles of the world.

Currently, Ottawa sits sixth – sixth! – in the NHL, icing what is basically an AHL team. They have the best goals against average in the league, the second best penalty kill, and the best shots-per-game in the league. Their chances at the playoffs today are 96.4%, and they’d have to go 7-10-2 before those chances dropped by a ton, and even then they’d still have a 57.4% chance of making it.

Why Paul MacLean SHOULD NOT win the Jack Adams

Underlying all of Ottawa’s success is the sneaking suspicion that they’ve been riding goaltenders, switching out hot hands like it’s nothing, and the system perhaps isn’t as impressive.

As much as their offense has been finding a way to get it done by committee, Ottawa is second worst in the entire league in shots against.

Ottawa is tied for first in the league with the most charity points, having lost in overtime six times in less than 30 games. Without those, they’re a bubble team at best.

Finally, there are plenty of teams facing adversity with low payrolls who are outperforming. How about St. Louis, with the lowest payroll in the league and currently in 4th in the ultra-competitive West? Or Columbus having a hot streak that puts them within two points of the playoffs after what everyone assumed would be a miserable, last-place season? How about Anaheim, who spend less money than the Florida Panthers or Winnipeg Jets, and would probably be leading the league if not for Chicago playing with all of the cheats on? Ultimately, that MacLean managed to keep his boys hanging in there won’t stand up against these glamour cases.

What do you think James? *Puts glasses with pictures of awake eyes on* 

Why Paul MacLean SHOULD win the Jack Adams

We`re going to overlap in our thinking a little here but I suppose I could discuss a different angle of the hilariousness of the payroll vs. performance thing. I agree that with the kind of lineup Chicago is icing and the amount they are paying them they SHOULD be dominating…but I mean the level to which they are; your hat has to be removed to Quenneville.

The flip side of where you dial H for Hilariousnessocity is jeez, who do we pick on here… OH I KNOW my favorite punching bag the New York Rangers! On paper, the Rangers should win the Stanley Cup pretty much every year. I love picking on this team because they always land a huge free agent and STILL have cap space left over and STILL aren’t all that threatening.
Funny to be talking about this seeing as impending FA Kori Perry was taken off the market last night. Awwe, now Free Agent Day is going to be so boring. Newsflash: Free Agent Day is ALWAYS pretty boring. Anyway back to the Rangers! Some terrible jokes to illustrate my thoughts: `

Whats the difference between Marian Gaborik and Kyle Turris? Turris has 2 more points and costs only $6,100,000 fewer dollars per year!

Jim O`Brien walks into a bar and says, `Hey Brad Richards, I know I have more goals than you (and so do 5 other Sens players) but it aint all bad news, I just got second place in a beauty contest!`

Fuck these are so shitty. One more…

`Something something, Robin Lehner is outplaying Henrik Lundqvist except something something 3 AHL defenders in front of him`

I think you`ve had enough. But you see what I`m saying though. Part of what makes a great coach isn’t just how well he can play Xs and Os (Am I right Sideshow Corey Clouston?) but how well he OR SHE can motivate their players. No one and I mean no one can convince me that another coach is doing that like MacLean is. If  MacLean isn’t even at least nominated well….

…except make what he`s saying about Ottawa coaching stuff…

Why Paul MacLean SHOULD NOT win the Jack Adams

Well sir, much like the “You there, Patrick Kane, hit a homerun” that impending Jack Adams winner Joel Quenneville can’t teach nor can Paul MacLean teach the outstanding goaltending he is getting from the guys who are getting absolutely shelled game in and game out. Hold on for a brief interruption:


Despite being 2nd worst in the league for shots against, Andy *kisses index finger points it at the sky*, Bishop and Lehner have given the Sens a significant amount of wins or mercy points in games that would have flat out lost without their brilliant play.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post (fact check me! I dare you! I DOUBLE DARE YOU) I’ve found MacLean’s coaching prowess was more of a conversation in the media last year.  To you and I this is laughable as he’s getting similar results without his top scorer, starting goaltender and Norris winning defenseman AND OTHER GUYS AS WELL…but this is the world we live in as Sens fans. Remember when Ottawa went on an 11 game winning streak in 2010 that basically no one outside the city even mentioned because the Washington Capitals were going on a similar winning streak? Yeah, that’s the perspective I come from when it comes to this stuff. Its not a bad one either if you ask me. Those same previously lauded Caps are now getting put through the meat grinder for their completely awful season. For us, everything that goes positive is layer upon layer of delicious crystal gravy.

Like Karlsson last year, win or lose we know this guy deserves this thing but…who knows how the votes will go. I just wish there was a Masterton Trophy for coaches because I would have to think MacLean would get a clean sweep for that thing with the amount of shit he’s had to go through so far.



2 thoughts on “Why Paul MacLean should win the Jack Adams this year, or maybe why he shouldn’t.

  1. Pingback: Senators News: March 19th | eyeonthesens

  2. Another thing working against MacStache is the amount of experience on the team. Alfie, Gonch, Phillips, Neil is clost to 4,000 man-games so there’s a ton of steadying influence on the blue-line and up front. The AHL factor isn’t really that much either, seeing it’s the same system on both teams, making the transition a lot more seamless.

    Now, when the entirety of the team is 25 and under (save for J-Spezz and Milan MeCrosscheck) and theres’ a real lack of experience at all levels AND THEY STILL WIN, then you give him the Adams. And there’s the goaltending, which has been insane too. Gotta think Therrien will get it for going from 15th to 1st…or Boudreau or Quenneville. The only similarity in recent Adams winnahz (most Adams winners had a +20 point increase in standings) is Bylzmah when he lost Crozz-bee and Mah-kinz and still did quite well. We’lll see I guess.


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