Ken Hitchcock – St. Louis Blues
Hitchcock immediately set forth a new defensive minded coaching style, where it focused on blocked shots, smart defensive zone play, and rotating 2 hot goalies on a regular basis to keep them fresh.
I think the most impressive, is the worst to first mentality. That translated to the team going from 39 wins and 87 points with no playoffs, to 49 wins and 109 points.
They also made the playoffs for the first time since 2008-2009. This was all done with the 23rd highest payroll, and major components missing for extended periods of time.
David Perron, Alexander Steen, Andy McDonald, Carlo Colaiacovo, and Matt D’Agostini all missed major time this year with injuries.