Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella, Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau and San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer will all go to the NHL All-Star in Los Angeles game as head coaches.
Tortorella will coach the Metropolitan Division, Therrien will coach the Atlantic Division, Boudreau will coach the Central Division, and DeBoer will coach the Pacific Division.
The game will be played Sunday, Jan. 29 at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will involve a three-on-three tournament from the four divisions for the second-straight year.
NHL rules dictated that the head coach of the team with the highest points percentage in each of the four divisions through games of Tuesday, Jan. 10 – the halfway point of the regular season – would coach their respective divisions.
Therrien’s Canadiens are currently at .683, while Boudreau’s Wild are at .705. Tortorella’s Blue Jackets are at .769 and DeBoer’s Sharks hold a .625 points percentage.
Here are the rosters for the Atlantic and Metropolitan Division teams along with the rosters for the Central and Pacific Division teams.
Almost all of the coaches faced some adversity last season or shortly before the beginning of 2016-17, which at points made it seem like they wouldn’t be in this position.
Tortorella was coach of Team USA at the World Cup and faced criticism over his personnel decisions and playing style during the tournament where the Americans went 0-3-0 and were outscored 11-5. But since he returned to Columbus he has helped guide the Blue Jackets to the best record in the NHL and a 16-game winning streak, after finishing with the fourth-worst record last season. The Blue Jackets rank third in both goals scored per-game (3.33) and goals allowed per-game (2.15) this season. Defenseman Seth Jones and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky are going to the game from the Blue Jackets.
Therrien started the year squarely on the hot seat after his team faltered in 2015-16 and missed the playoffs following an NHL record 9-0-0 start to the season. But a healthy Carey Price (2.12 goal-against average and .928 save percentage) and strong play from offseason additions Shea Weber (10 goals and 26 points while averaging 25:56 of ice-time per-game) and Alexander Radulov (31 points in 39 games) have helped the Canadiens to first place in the Atlantic. Both Weber and Price are heading to the game from the Canadiens.
Boudreau was fired by the Anaheim Ducks last offseason after he lost his fourth straight Game 7 with the organization. The Wild quickly scooped him up, and Boudreau has coaxed a rebound season out of Eric Staal (35 points in 39 games) and career years from Charlie Coyle (32 points in 39 games) and Mikael Granlund (31 points in 39 games). Devan Dubnyk (1.80 goal-against average and .939 save percentage) has provided Boudreau with some of the best goaltending in the NHL this season. Defenseman Ryan Suter and Dubnyk will represent the Wild in the game.
“I’m grateful,” Boudreau said according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I’ve got five other assistant coaches that work their rear end off to help me get there, and I seem to be getting the credit. It’s got to be shared, and the players, too.
“They’ve bought in and they’ve played really hard, so it’s a tremendous honor.”
DeBoer has helped the aging Sharks stay at the top of their division after an exhausting run to the Stanley Cup Final last season. He has been able to coax a career year out of defenseman Brent Burns (39 points in 40 games) while helping goaltender Martin Jones (2.21 goal-against average and .917 save percentage) continue to realize his potential after his season as starter in 2015-16. The Sharks will have the most players represented in the Pacific Division with Jones, Burns and forward Joe Pavelski.
– – – – – – –
MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS