With the Caps arguably having the best first half in franchise history, head coach Bruce Boudreau is making a strong case for a second consecutive Jack Adams trophy as the NHL's best head coach.
If he does, he would join former Red Wings coach Jacques Demers as only the second in NHL history to do so.
The case for Boudreau is strong. At the break, his Caps have the second-best point total in the Eastern Conference and a strong 12-point lead over the second-place Carolina Hurricanes.
He's proven that last year's post-Thanksgiving surge was not a fluke.
As Thom Loverro points out, the team is now an amazing 67-32-10 in its first 109 games under Boudreau. It's all the more remarkable considering that the core of the roster is the same as last year's team, which started out with just six wins in its first 21 games under previous coach Glen Hanlon.
What's worked? Center Brooks Laich told USA Today, "He has a personal relationship that garners so much respect. When it's time to coach and be disciplined he can turn that on. He can walk that fine line between friend and coach."
With a team that's sure to grow healthier, the continued all-around brilliance of Alexander Ovechkin, and some small corrections to the penalty kill, Coach Boudreau's sights will be set on a bigger award than the Jack Adams; he's hoping to sip from the Cup.