Andy Murray is now officially one of the three finalists for the Jack Adams award as coach of the year. And quite rightly so.
The other two finalists are Todd McLellan (San Jose) and Claude Julien (Boston). So why should Murray win? Because what he - and the players - did was just so impressive.
Yes, San Jose finished first and won the President's Trophy. But McLellan basically inherited a situation that was practically all set up. He took over a team that regularly makes the playoffs, with experience and talent.
Claude Julien? Well, the Bruins finished top in the East with the third highest points total in their history...
Personally, I think Murray trumps them both. I mean, over 24 games, the Blues climbed NINE places. From 15th to 6th. Despite injuries...despite having a young, relatively inexperienced team, despite filling roster spots with the odd AHL'er and waiver wire pickup.
Honestly, on Feb. 20, most of us, if we're honest, thought the season was lost - we'd not make the playoffs and have to sit watching everyone else again. I'm not saying it was ALL down to Murray - JD and Larry Pleau made some good moves etc - but if a coach doesn't coach WELL...if the players don't buy into the system he's preaching, then that team goes nowhere.
I hope he wins. I think he's the most deserving of the candidates - and I think a lot of the more "neutral" fans would agree. The question is...will the members of the NHL Broadcasters Association agree too.
Good luck, Mr Murray.