The Columbus Blue Jackets clinched a playoff berth today when their game against Chicago went to overtime. They sealed the deal with a shootout win. Rick Nash, Jonathan Toews and Pat Kane missed, but Fedor Tyutin, the second Columbus shooter, scored.
Also, today, I was listening to NHL Home Ice 204 on XM and they were listing the nominations for the Espo Awards, their yearly award ceremony. I highly disagreed with their list for Michel Bergeron Trophy (for Coach of the Year).
They had: Andy Murray (Blues); Barry Trotz (Predators); Claude Julien (Bruins); Brent Sutter (Devils); and Paul Maurice (Hurricanes). Phil Esposito added Ken Hitchcock (Blue Jackets) to the list.
Uh, where is John Tortorella in this list?!
No, kidding, but seriously, where is rookie coach Todd McLellan? The Sharks are far and away the best team in the league this season. While having Joe Thornton, Rob Blake, Danny Boyle, and Evgeni Nabokov helps, are you telling me he doesn't belong in the top six of all coaches this season?
If I had to pick a top 3 to nominate, I would say McLellan, Julien, and probably Hitchcock. All are good choices, and I think Julien would/should win the real award, the Jack Adams Award. He has taken a ragtag group of players and turned them into dominant forces.
Ahh, remember the good ol' days in the year after the lockout, when Lindy Ruff (Sabres), Pete Laviolette ('Canes), and Tom Renney (Rangers) were nominated? After this season, all 3 might not be on those teams anymore, especially if the Sabres miss the playoffs again.