The NHL has announced that Columbus Blue Jackets head man John Tortorella is a finalist for the Jack Adams Coach of the Year Award. If he beats out Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins and Alain Vigneault of the Philadelphia Flyers, it will be the third time Tortorella has taken home the honor.
He’s been a finalist for the award four times.
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Not many seasons have been like this one, though.
Before COVID-19 interrupted the Blue Jackets season, Columbus went 33-22-15 despite losing 419 man games to injury.
Among those missing significant time for the Blue Jackets: last year’s leading goal scorer (Cam Atkinson), the team’s All-Star defenseman (Seth Jones), and All-Star goaltender (Joonas Korpisalo).
Even as players fell to injury, the team rose to ninth place in the Eastern Conference, which qualified them for the modified postseason, which is scheduled for next month.
Columbus will face Toronto in Toronto for a best-of-five Stanley Cup Playoff qualifying round, the dates for the first games of which are set.
Prior to that, Columbus will face Boston July 30 at 7 p.m. in an exhibition game.
It won’t be long after that, Tortorella will learn if he is the NHL’s coach of the year. The winners of this year’s NHL honors will be revealed during the Conference Finals.
Hear captain Nick Foligno’s thoughts on the Stanley Cup Playoffs below.