Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma became the first head coach in franchise history to win the Jack Adams Award as the National Hockey League’s “most outstanding coach” on Wednesday night at the NHL Awards Show in Los Vegas.
Bylsma, 40, edged out fellow finalists Alain Vigneault of the Vancouver Canucks and Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators.
Bylsma beat Vigneault by 27 points who finished second.
Bylsma authored one of the most successful regular seasons in Penguins’ history with a 49-25-8 overall record, 106 points and home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Pittsburgh’s 49 wins and 106 points were both the second-best marks in team history.
Pittsburgh’s outstanding regular season was even more impressive when you factor in that the team suffered 350 man-games lost due to injury – including a combined 119 from the team’s top-three offensive threats in Sidney Crosby (41 games missed), Evgeni Malkin (39) and Jordan Staal (39).
Bylsma’s best work came during the final 35 games of the season when the team played without both Crosby and Malkin. During that stretch the team posted an impressive 20-11-4 (.629 pct.) record.
Other individual and team highlights from Bylsma’s season include:
* Becoming the fifth-fastest NHL coach to 100 career victories (163 games) vs. Los Angeles on Feb. 10.
* Earning his 96th NHL win Jan. 25 vs. NY Islanders, moving him past Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman into third place on the team’s all-time list.
* A 12-game winning streak from Nov. 17-Dec. 11 that ranks as the second-longest in team history and the 11th-longest (tied) in NHL history.
* The Penguins finishing the season with the NHL’s No. 1-ranked penalty killing unit with a success rate of 86.1 percent – the first time Pittsburgh has ever finished the season with the league’s top PK unit.
Bylsma became the second head coach from the Pittsburgh organization to earn top coaching honors this season. John Hynes, head coach of the Penguins’ top minor-league affiliate, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, captured the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach in April.