How Bruce Cassidy was viewed in this year's Jack Adams Award voting was going to be interesting to see. As it does in most sports, the NHL's coach of the year award often goes to the coach whose team most exceeds expectations.
The Bruins didn't exactly do that, because expectations were already so high after reaching the Stanley Cup Final last year and returning pretty much the same team. They were expected to be one of the best teams in the league, and it turned out they were the best team in the regular season, winning the Presidents' Trophy in the process.
Tortorella helped keep the Blue Jackets in the playoff hunt (and ultimately in the playoffs thanks to the expanded field) after an offseason that saw them lose both Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky in free agency and had everyone counting them out.
Vigneault took over a Flyers team that had a minus-37 goal differential and missed the playoffs by 16 points last year and had them competing for a division title and playing like one of the best teams in the NHL down the stretch before the season was suspended.
Tortorella has won the award twice, in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning and in 2017 with the Blue Jackets. Vigneault has one win, in 2007 with the Vancouver Canucks. Cassidy is looking for his first win. He was a finalist in 2018, but lost out to Gerard Gallant of the Vegas Golden Knights.