Peter Laviolette and Joel Quenneville will coach against each other as the hockey world watches once again, only this time the stakes are much lower.
A coin-flip decided the coaches for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game this weekend. Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks will coach Team Staal while Alain Vigneault of the Vancouver Canucks and Laviolette of the Philadelphia Flyers will coach Team Lidstrom.
Quenneville received an invite to the game because he was the coach of the Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks. Vigneault and Laviolette were invited because they coach the top teams in the Western and Eastern Conference, respectively.
We predicted that Team Lidstrom would have a lot of Blackhawks since Patrick Kane is one of their alternate captains, but now Quenneville might be whispering in Eric Staal’s ear to add ‘Hawks as well.
While we know who the top six players in the All-Star Game are now after fan balloting, we now know who will be coaching the other team. It was already slated that Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville would be coaching one of the teams thanks to Chicago winning the Stanley Cup last year. As for the other team, we’ll see Flyers coach Peter Laviolette and Canucks coach Alain Vigneault get the call to co-coach the opposing squad.
Laviolette and Vigneault get the call because their teams had the highest points percentage at the end of business today and with no one in the Western Conference able to touch Vancouver and Pittsburgh unable to equal Philadelphia, their respective coaches get the call to lead the way in Raleigh at the end of January.
Of course, coaches don’t do more than just call for line changes and make adjustments with the lines in an All-Star Game and given that they won’t know what their teams will look like until after the player’s fantasy draft the Friday night before the game, coaches are pretty much just there for show.