LAS VEGAS -- Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year at the 2019 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone on Wednesday.
Trotz, who joined the Islanders in 2018-19 after coaching the Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup last season, helped New York post a 23-point improvement over 2017-18 and yield an NHL-low 196 goals.
The Islanders, who gave up 296 goals in 2017-18, became the first NHL team in 100 years to allow the fewest goals immediately following the season when it yielded the most (Ottawa Senators, 1918-19).
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"I started seeing it in training camp, but you didn't know," Trotz said. "You had to play real games. I would say it was probably between 20-30-game mark. We headed out west, I think it was Colorado and Dallas in a western trip. We were playing OK, but not great. And we went out there against [the Colorado Avalanche], they were rolling at the time, scoring a lot of goals, and we shut them down. [The Dallas Stars], same thing. It started to galvanize our belief in what we were doing."
A four-time Jack Adams finalist, Trotz won the award for the second time (Capitals, 2015-16). He finished second and third in consecutive seasons with the Nashville Predators in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Video: Barry Trotz is presented the Jack Adams Award
"To me, this one feels different than [last time]," Trotz said. "This one has a lot more to it. Just because of the group we had and the expectations were not really good. We got in late and I didn't know what I was getting into from a standpoint of personnel, but I had a lot of trust in (general manager) Lou Lamoriello."
Trotz, who finished the season fourth on the NHL coaching wins list (810), is the second Islanders coach to win the Jack Adams Award (Al Arbour, 1978-79), which is voted on by the NHL Broadcasters' Association.
The other finalists were Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Craig Berube of the St. Louis Blues.
Cooper coached the Lightning to 62 victories, tied for the most in NHL history (1995-96 Detroit Red Wings). The Lightning's 128 points (62-16-4) ranked fourth in NHL history, behind the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens (132), 1995-96 Red Wings (131) and 1977-78 Canadiens (129).
Berube was named coach on Nov. 19 with the Blues in 30th place in the NHL and helped them finish third in the Central Division by going 38-19-6 after he was hired.
2018-19 Jack Adams Award voting
1. Barry Trotz, NYI 430 (58-41-17)
2. Jon Cooper, TBL 350 (48-31-17)
3. Craig Berube, STL 116 (10-14-24)
4. Bill Peters, CGY 115 (3-22-34)
5. Rod Brind'Amour, CAR 49 (3-7-13)
6. Rick Tocchet, ARI 46 (3-7-10)
7. Bruce Cassidy, BOS 29 (1-5-9)
8. Paul Maurice, WPG 5 (1-0-0)
9. Claude Julien, MTL 2 (0-0-2)
10. Pete DeBoer, SJS 1 (0-0-1)