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Power Ranking Every Head Coach in 2nd Round of Stanley Cup Playoffs

Franklin SteeleAnalyst IINovember 6, 2016

Power Ranking Every Head Coach in 2nd Round of Stanley Cup Playoffs

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    It shouldn't come as a surprise that the list of coaches that delivered their respective teams to the second round of the 2013 NHL playoffs is impressive. There are enough rings between these eight guys to make The Mandarin jealous, and each one brings serious mental fortitude and agility to the rink every day.

    With more than 350 playoff game victories between them, as well as six Stanley Cup championships and four Jack Adams trophies, the body of work present in the second round is staggering.

    The line between the seventh and eighth guy on this list and the first and second is razor thin—it just comes down to the weight of experience. Coaches that have been in every situation imaginable will maintain an upper hand here.

    Regular season stats were taken into consideration only so far as to identify how many games a coach has been behind the bench. All the Presidents' Trophies in the world don't mean squat if there aren't any Stanley Cups next to them on the mantle.

8. Paul MacLean: Ottawa Senators

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    Playoff Record: 7-5

    Regular Season Record: 65-48

    Stanley Cups as a Head Coach: 0

    Jack Adams Awards: 0

    The only thing preventing Paul MacLean from ranking higher on this list is time. He's done outstanding work since taking over the Ottawa Senators in June of 2011, especially in 2013 as he pushed his team to a playoff spot despite missing his three top players.

    MacLean comes from the Detroit Red Wings front office factory—he was an assistant coach for Mike Babcock in Detroit and with the Anaheim Ducks and won a Stanley Cup with the Wings in 2007-08.

7. Todd McLellan: San Jose Sharks

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    Playoff Record: 24-24

    Regular Season Record: 220-108

    Stanley Cups as a Head Coach: 0

    Jack Adams Awards: 0

    Todd McLellan—also a graduate of the Detroit Red Wings executive factory—took over the San Jose Sharks in June of 2008. Since then he's won a Presidents' Trophy, three divisional titles and received a nomination for the Jack Adams Award.

    All that on the way to becoming the winning-est coach in Sharks history.

    Yet success in the playoffs has eluded McLellan since leaving his post as an assistant to Mike Babcock. He's been to the conference finals twice, but has only secured one victory across those two series. His Sharks have also been bounced in the quarterfinals twice, rounding out a so-so track record of postseason success.

6. John Tortorella: New York Rangers

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    Playoff Record: 42-42

    Regular Season Record: 410-330

    Stanley Cups as a Head Coach: 1

    Jack Adams Awards: 1

    John Tortorella is easily the most visible coach and executive in the NHL these days. Matching the likes of Mark Cuban when it comes to outspoken natures, Torts frequently receives more attention for his off-ice antics with reporters than he does for his on-ice accomplishments. (per NESN.com)

    Since taking over as bench boss for the New York Rangers in February of 2009, Tortorella has molded the Blue Shirts into a shot-blocking, hard-playing machine.

    He's not always the best when it comes to getting the most out of every player on the bench though. Guys such as Marian Gaborik frequently found themselves in his dog house for not buying into the system 110 percent.

    Regardless, he has a Cup to his name and seems to have the Rangers rolling right now—if only he could find a way to wake up Rick Nash and Brad Richards.

5. Claude Julien: Boston Bruins

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    Playoff Record: 40-34

    Regular Season Record: 347-218

    Stanley Cups as a Head Coach: 1

    Jack Adams Awards: 1

    Claude Julien will always be revered in Boston for bringing a Stanley Cup to TitleTown in 2011. That victory ended a 39-year Cup drought, and the Bruins have been a bruising squad under his watch since he took over in June of 2007.

    While Julien has a Cup on his resume and has been solid in the postseason, he has also been on the receiving end of one of the most unheard of comebacks in all of hockey when he dropped a 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010.

    Still, he's a smart coach that knows his team inside and out and manages to get the most out of them on a nightly basis. Julien revitalized the era of the Big Bad Bruins, and his job should be safe since averting disaster against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Round 1.

4. Darryl Sutter: Los Angeles Kings

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    Playoff Record: 67-60

    Regular Season Record: 461-349

    Stanley Cups as a Head Coach: 1

    Jack Adams Awards: 0

    Darryl Sutter delivered a Stanley Cup for the first time in his lengthy career in 2012, coaching his team through one of the most unlikely championship runs in NHL history. The quirky coach of the Los Angeles Kings guided his eighth-seeded team through the playoffs like they were a joke.

    They downed the top three seeds in the Western Conference—the first squad to do that in the 119-year history of the playoffs, and won ten straight games on the road before capturing the Cup.

    Outside of the miraculous run with the Kings, Sutter hasn't had quite as much success. Since 1992 he's lost in the first round six times and has only made it to the conference finals one other time.

    Sutter seems to have the Kings dialed in, however. After dropping the first two games of the first round to the St. Louis Blues, L.A. stormed back and won the next four games in a row. Success in the playoffs often comes to controlling highs and lows, and this appears to be something Sutter has perfected.

    And that's why he's dangerous.

3. Dan Bylsma: Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Playoff Record: 28-22

    Regular Season Record: 201-92

    Stanley Cups as a Head Coach: 1

    Jack Adams Awards: 1

    You can hand a bow hunter a sniper rifle—it doesn't suddenly give them the know-how to use it. Having  the weapon in your hands doesn't make you a proficient expert at the handling and care of such a high-quality, high-caliber weapon.

    Dan Bylsma was handed a high-powered rifle in the Pittsburgh Penguins when he took over as coach in 2009 and tasked with utilizing the team in a deadly fashion. Where Michel Therrien had disintegrated the team into a bunch of pistol-whipping thugs, Byslma has turned his crew into a band of players that can smell blood and is willing to do whatever it takes for the kill.

    Talented players with that kind of drive is dangerous.

    They are a tightly-tuned machine, and if you think that any coach could have success with this team, think again.

    Bylsma has his finger on the pulse of his team like few other bench bosses in the NHL and can out-coach just about anyone on any given night.

2. Joel Quenneville: Chicago Blackhawks

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    Playoff Record: 72-67

    Regular Season Record: 660-389

    Stanley Cups as a Head Coach: 1

    Jack Adams Awards: 1

    In one of the tougher power ranking choices I've had to make in two-plus years, Joel Quenneville punches in at number two on the list.

    He's coached well over 1,000 NHL hockey games and was at the helm of the Chicago Blackhawks when they won the Stanley Cup three years ago. Between his coaching career and playing days, Quenneville has been involved in over 2,000 pro-level contests.

    Try and throw something at this guy that he hasn't seen before.

    The second-round matchup between Chicago and the Detroit Red Wings is intriguing for a lot of reasons. A chess battle between Quenneville and our number one coach is at the top of the list.

1. Mike Babcock: Detroit Red Wings

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    Playoff Record: 71-46

    Regular Season Record: 445-232

    Stanley Cups as a Head Coach: 1

    Jack Adams Awards: 0

    There are good hockey minds, and then there are guys on Mike Babcock's level—a tier reserved only for the most observational and intelligent brains involved in the game.

    More so than just about anyone else, he knows how and when to punch his team's buttons. Babcock helped pioneer the puck-possession style of play that so many teams have tried to mimic since the destruction of the two-line pass. Yet he's had to continually adjust his systems as the opposition learned how to counter.

    After all, if you aren't evolving, you're dying.

    He's also kept things fresh for Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg over the years, while coaching through the loss of guys like Nicklas Lidstrom and Steve Yzerman without missing a beat. Or the playoffs.

    It's close, but if there's a Game 7, winner-take-all situation, Babcock is the guy we want behind the bench.

    Now someone get this man a Jack Adams Award. It's absolutely criminal that he doesn't have one.

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