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Quick Hits: Jack Adams Award, IIHF Worlds, Today in Flyers History and More

May 23, 2024, 1:57 PM ET [133 Comments]
Bill Meltzer
Philadelphia Flyers Blogger •NHL.com • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Quick Hits: May 23, 2024

1) Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet is the 2023-24 Jack Adams Award winner as the coach of the year, the NHL announced on Wednesday. In his first full season behind the bench in Vancouver, Tocchet steered the Canucks (50-23-9) to a first-place finish in the Pacific Division. Playoff outcomes do not figure in the voting. The Canucks fell one win short of reaching the Western Conference Final.

The Canucks' 109-point season in 2023-24 marked a 26-point improvement from last year: 12 additional wins and two additional regulation ties that ended in overtime/shootout losses. The Canucks' last regular season division championship came during the lockout-shortened (48-game, 26-15-7 record) 2013 season with Alain Vigneault behind the bench.

Tocchet was one of the coaching candidates who interviewed for the Flyers vacancy during the 2022 offseason. Previously, he was head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes.

Andrew Brunette (Nashville Predators) finished third in the Jack Adams Award voting this year. Rick Bowness (Winnipeg Jets) was third. Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery won the award last season.

Flyers head coach John Tortorella finished 12th in the voting, receiving two second-place votes and one third-place vote for seven points. The National Hockey League Broadcasters Association votes for the Jack Adams Award.

Tortorella, a two-time past winner, was considered a strong candidate for the 2023-24 award for much of the season. The Flyers' stumbles down the stretch, along with several perceived missteps by Tortorella, likely hurt his candidacy. Even so, it was surprising that he didn't even come close to a top-10 finish (Dallas Stars head coach Peter DeBoer was 10th with 26 voting points, while Tampa's Jon Cooper was 11th with 23 points).

Thirteen head coaches among the NHL's 32 teams received at least one vote for a top-three spot. Nine received at least one first-place vote.

2) IIHF World Championships: The medal round of the 2024 IIHF World Championship tournament gets underway in Prague on Thursday. All games are single-elimination. The quarterfinal games put the first-place team from preliminary round Groups A and B against the fourth-place team from the opposite group. The second place team from each group plays the other's third-place team. Thursday's games:

Canada vs. Slovakia
Switzerland vs. Germany
USA (Joel Farabee) vs. Czechia
Sweden (Samuel Ersson) vs. Finland

Friday is an off-day for all teams. The two semifinal games are on Saturday, and both the gold medal and bronze medal games are on Sunday.

3) The Memorial Cup gets underway on Friday in Saginaw, Michigan, with a game pitting the Western Hockey League champion Moose Jaw Warriors against the tournament-hosting Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League.

On Saturday, three Flyers prospects will be in action. The Ontario Hockey League champion London Knights (Oliver Bonk, Denver Barkey) will play the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League champion Drummondville Voltigeurs (Alexis Gendron).

4) Today in Flyers History: May 23

* 1985: The Edmonton Oilers evened up the Stanley Cup Final at one game apiece, beating the Flyers at the Spectrum in a 3-1 decision (the final goal was empty netter in the final 33 seconds. Years later, many Flyers Alumni looked back at this game as the one where the team's chance for the Stanley Cup slipped away. Pelle Lindbergh (27 saves on 29 shots) played a strong game in goal, in a losing cause.

The Flyers were unsuccessful on four power play opportunities. They didn't lack for scoring chances despite generating only 18 shots on Grant Fuhr. Tim Kerr's goal midway through the second period stood as Philly's lone tally, however.

* 1997: Eric Lindros' power play goal in the final seven seconds of the third period springboards the Flyers to a 3-2 road win over the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. Philly takes a three games to one lead in the series. Mikael Renberg (PPG) and John Druce (shorthanded) score the other Philadelphia goals, while Ron Hextall stops 31 of 33 shots.

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