VANCOUVER, British Columbia – You don't have to look any further than behind the benches to see why the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks have had so much success this season.
Good players do make for good teams, but the right coach can be a difference-maker, too.
Predators coach Barry Trotz and Canucks counterpart Alain Vigneault joined Pittsburgh's Dan Bylsma on Friday as finalists for the Jack Adams Award, given to the NHL coach of the year.
The votes are already in, so neither Trotz nor Vigneault can boost their cases as they face off in a Western Conference semifinal series. Moving on from this round won't be easy as both are coaching against goalies, who are up for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top netminder.