Ever since they last won the Stanley Cup in 1993, the Montreal Canadiens have been searching for the next coach to take them to the top of the mountain.
And their fans have complained loudly about every one of those bench bosses.
Among those coaches that didn’t get the job done were Alain Vigneault and Claude Julien, who will now face one another as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks and Bruins, respectively, in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
So while there’s great history involved in this coaching match-up as the first-ever head-to-head showdown between two French-Canadian coaches in the same Cup series, it has to pain the Habs backers that these are two guys their team let slip away.
Vigneault, a minor-league teammate of Julien’s as a player, preceded Julien as coach in Hull (QMJHL) and Montreal. The two have kept in touch over the years. Both were given the briefest of opportunities to get the Habs where they want to go. Now one of them will win the Cup before the Canadiens snap their now 18-year-long drought.
So, Bruins fans, you have yet another reason to enjoy this series after 21 years of waiting. Regardless of who wins, Habs fans are sure to be peeved.