For pure entertainment value, it would probably be most fun to watch Claude Julien vs. Alain Vigneault as this year’s All-Star Game coaches. (Then again in that case, it might be best to replace “fun” with “awkward and contentious.”)
Julien already gets an automatic spot thanks to that 2011 Stanley Cup victory, but his rival won’t be at the event thanks to a close loss tonight. The Florida Panthers’ scrappy 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks placed San Jose Sharks’ bench boss Todd McLellan on the West side for the 2012 All-Star Game while John Tortorella already wrapped up the other spot on Friday.
It might be strange that McLellan is in this spot since there are four West teams with more standings points, but the role is determined by winning percentage instead. (Otherwise it would be unfair to coaches whose teams played less games at the deadline, such as McLellan’s Sharks.)
Julien and his Bruins assistants will take on McLellan and Tortorella in the All-Star Game, with the rosters being determined once again by fantasy drafts. The full rosters should be announced on Thursday, while the team captains are likely to be named quite a bit later.