TSN’s Bob McKenzie runs an annual coaches poll every January where he conducts polling from 3/4 of NHL coaches on various subjects from best team, best player, to who’s going to win the Stanley Cup and ect.
This years poll was dominated by the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference.
Of the 27 head coaches McKenzie polled, the Capitals received 25 of 27 votes to reach the Stanley Cup Final. The only other team to receive votes was the Tampa Bay Lightning with 2.
Washington is head and shoulders above the rest of the field and despite the Lightning’s place in the standings, it’s not a surprise to see them as the only other team to warrant consideration.
In the West, Chicago received 15 votes, Los Angeles 11 votes, Dallas 1 vote.
In McKenzie’s poll, 16 of the 27 coaches picked the Capitals to win the Stanley Cup, 9 for Chicago. LA and Tampa Bay each received one vote.
The poll on the NHL’s best player, Patrick Kane was a runaway winner with 22 votes, followed by Jamie Benn with 3 and Alex Ovechkin, Jonathan Toews with 1.
The only Penguin to receive a vote was Kris Letang for best defenseman. He received one vote.
Last year McKenzie released a similar poll on January 26, 2015 with less coaches polled, 10 Eastern Conference coaches/10 Western Conference coaches with coaches voting for the conference they coached in.
The Rangers despite being in third place at the time, received 5 of 10 votes as the best team in the East, the Islanders 4 votes. The Penguins who were leading the division at the time received 1 vote as the best team in the conference.
New York would go on to win the Presidents Trophy, so the coaches got that right, but the Lightning would be the Eastern Conference’s representative.