PHILADELPHIA (CP) - Guy Carbonneau was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year Wednesday after leading the Canadiens to a remarkable first-place finish in the Eastern Conference.
Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings and Bruce Boudreau of the Washington are also up for the award, presented annually to the head coach who has ''contributed the most to his team's success."
Carbonneau, in his second season, led the Canadiens (47-25-10) to their first 45-win and 100-point season in 15 years, first division title in 17 years, first Eastern Conference title in 19 years and best road record (25-12-4) in 29 years.
They did it in style, too, leading the NHL in scoring with 262 goals and sporting the league's top-ranked power-play (24.2 per cent). Montreal went 25-9 following a loss and did not lose more than three consecutive games all season.
Boudreau took over as head coach from the fired Glen Hanlon on Nov. 22 and led the Capitals from last in the Eastern Conference at 6-14-1 to a Southeast Division title.
Washington closed out the season with seven straight wins to claim the crown.
The Caps were 37-17-7 in all under Boudreau, an NHL head coach for the first time after coaching over 1,000 games in the minors. He became the fastest coach to reach 20 victories (34 games) and 30 victories (53 games) in team history.
Babcock posted his third consecutive 50-win season with the Red Wings (54-21-7) and captured captured the Presidents' Trophy for the NHL's top regular-season record with 115 points.
Detroit also surpassed the 100-point mark for the eighth consecutive season to match Montreal's record streak from 1974-75 through 1981-82.
The award is voted on by members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association.