Washington Capitals: Top 5 greatest coaches of all-time

Barry Trotz, Washington Capitals (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Barry Trotz, Washington Capitals (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Jim Schoenfeld, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
Jim Schoenfeld, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport /

#5 Jim Schoenfeld

Jim Schoenfeld took over for Terry Murray with 37 games left in the 1993-94 season and the team with an under .500 record. They finished with a 39-35-10 record for 88 points and a third place finish. Schoenfeld went 19-12-6. That spring he helped coach the Caps to achieve team history of defeating their bitter rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins in a playoff series for the first time in franchise history. There’s nothing better than beating the Penguins and only Barry Trotz is the other coach who can say that.

The next season he went 22-18-8 for another third place finish in a 48 game season. The next year he went 39-32-11. In his final season in D.C. he went 33-40-9. Overall he spent four years with the Caps coaching in 249 games going 113-102-34. The Caps fired him in 1997 as part of a house cleaning.

Prior to coaching he worked at ESPN as a color commentator with play by play guy Gary Thorne. He also coached with the New Jersey Devils, Phoenix Coyotes, and Buffalo Sabres. His record overall was 256-246-78 in 580 career NHL games.

Schoenfeld makes this list for the simple fact of being the first Caps coach to crack the playoff code of the Penguins. That qualifies him simply enough.