Guy Boucher will win Adams award

Stats show strong correlation between coaching award, save percentage jump

Updated: January 21, 2013, 2:18 PM ET
By Neil Greenberg | ESPN Insider
Guy BoucherJustin K. Aller/Getty ImagesTampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher could benefit from improved crease play this season.

Figuring out the top contenders for the Jack Adams award, given to the National Hockey League coach "adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success," has never been that complicated. Much of the battle is looking at which teams are in the playoffs; since it was first awarded at the conclusion of the 1973-74 regular season, each winner has had his team fighting for a championship in the postseason. There are also more recent analytical clues pointing to the winner of the award. Since the last lockout, most of the winners share an obvious prerequisite for success: They coached a team that had below-average goaltending the year before.

To narrow down this year's Jack Adams hopefuls, we just need to look at a team whose goaltending struggled last season and may be positioned to make the playoffs. That puts Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher as this year's favorite to win the award.

Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.