The Jack Adams Award isn’t one you win year after year, because once your team is established, you’re expected to win. The last coach to win back-to-back Jacks was Jacques Demers with the Red Wings in 1987 and 1988. We’ve seen wunderkind Guy Boucher step from the American League to the NHL seamlessly with the Lightning. From a rookie coach to an experienced one, Terry Murray’s Kings lost Drew Doughty but have been enjoying the goalie battle being waged between Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier. But a lot of fluctuating can still happen. Barry Trotz doesn’t need to run away with anything to be considered. Bruce Boudreau could win his second if the Caps stay strong and defensive. And such other green coaches as Davis Payne, Joe Sacco and perhaps even Scott Arniel have the potential to win the Jack Adams. — Rory Boylen, The Hockey News
Peter Laviolette, Philadelphia Flyers
A wild 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay on Nov. 18 prompted the coach to rest surprising young goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, a move that spurred a three-game winning streak.
Claude Julien, Boston Bruins
Tim Thomas has been outstanding. And despite being without Marc Savard, the Bruins are showing some offensive life even though Julien is known for his defensive coaching.
Mike Babcock, Detroit Red Wings
The Wings were hoping the return of Jiri Hudler would help them rebound this season. But they've turned things around despite Hudler, who has the worst plus-minus on the team (minus-5) and has been a healthy scratch a few times. The Wings have the most points in the West despite having played the fewest games.
Barry Trotz, Nashville Predators
Another 2009-10 finalist, it’s mind-boggling the only coach Nashville has ever known has never won this award. But if he can still get them into the postseason despite all the offseason losses, he deserves a serious look ... again.
Joe Sacco, Colorado Avalanche
Beat out last year by Dave Tippett’s magical season in Phoenix, if Sacco can keep the Avalanche from stepping back, he’ll be in the running once again.
Bruce Boudreau, Washington Capitals
The league’s top team must be represented. While the offense isn’t far and away the best as it was last season, the Caps have taken great strides at being better all-around — as their improved PK and shots-against average show.
Jacques Martin, Montreal Canadiens
The Habs are the only team to have a GAA less than 2.00 and have the second-best penalty kill at 90.1 percent. The power play was a major concern early on, but it’s been on the mend lately.
Davis Payne, St. Louis Blues
The Blues still allow the fewest shots-against per game, but their offense is lacking. Missing T.J. Oshie and Roman Polak hurts — and so does the team’s five-game losing streak in mid-November in which it was outscored 28-12.
Terry Murray, Los Angeles Kings
Continues to bring young team along and was still rolling while Drew Doughty was injured.
Guy Boucher, Tampa Bay Lightning
Fifth-best PP, third-best PK, second-fewest shots-against per game, seventh-most shots-for per game – yet the Lightning have allowed more goals than they’ve scored. Still, they hold a playoff spot and are vastly improved over last season.