When it comes to naming the outstanding coach for the season, we here at tUB thought this might be an easy decision for everyone. But once again, our intrepid team of writers always looks at a lot of different angles when it comes to the impact that coaching can make on the Blue Jackets organization. Do you think this post is an ode to Head Coach (and recently extended) Todd Richards? Well click to read more. This year’s Jack Adams award winner is…
@CBJProspects (1) Todd Richards. Coach Richards has gotten more out of this lineup than most would expect the last two seasons. Richards earned his contract extension without even being Jarmo’s guy because of his performances the two seasons.
@TheCoachUB (1) Todd Richards. I feel like I say this every time I say something about anything: Richards is probably not as good as you think he is (if you love him) or as bad as you think he is (for those constantly looking for the next replacement). The problem? He’s very good at some things, but those things aren’t as visible as the things he’d not as good at. He put together a team that was ready to play, and play hard, every single night. He got all the players to “buy in”, which is much more difficult than it seems. The assistant coaches Craig Hartsburg and Dan Hinote did a great job on special teams. I really liked the variability of the penalty kill, allowing the Jackets to better match up against other teams’ weapons when they were up a man. On the power play, the coaching staff identified their players’ strengths and built a system around it. They did some great stuff on the breakout, knowing the talents of the defensive corps to do something a little more aggressive than the standard. These things are all good. However, all of those things are off-ice, preparation type things. I don’t love Richards as an in-game coach. I don’t love his lineups. I don’t love his love of all work, no talent players. I wish he would have used more combinations of players during the regular season. I would really like him to do a better job of zone starts and line matching. He does a good job of setting up his players to succeed outside of the game, but doesn’t do much that way in-game. All things considered, I’d still give the coaching staff a solid ‘B’ for their work this season. A good job indeed, but room for improvement.
@CBJProspects (2) AHL coaching staff. Brad Larsen uses the same systems as the CBJ so players fit right in when they’re called up.
@RockmanHalo (1) “It may seem silly, but my pick for the Jack Adams Award doesn’t go to Todd Richards. It doesn’t even go to Craig Hartsburg or the super suave Dan Hinote. Those names are the easy favorites, right? Well my pick goes to someone that had just as much an impact on the Jackets’ performance this year than either of the 3 honchos of the squad:
Kevin Collins, the strength and conditioning coach.
Why not!? You look at the hard hitting, hustle ‘n’ heart style the CBJ have played (relatively successfully) the last few years and tell me that they’ve needed to be on top of their physical game to do it. It’s not an accident and it’s something that I think is unfortunately overlooked. So cheers, Kevin! You and your regiment have earned it.”
Check back later this week – there are still more awards to come!