Commentary

Conference finals -- A look at the coaches

Updated: May 9, 2008, 2:21 AM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

Here's the interesting thing about the final four coaches left standing at the start of the conference finals.

Three of the four, Michel Therrien (Pittsburgh), Dave Tippett (Dallas) and John Stevens (Philadelphia), were considered to be on thin ice at some point during the regular season. The fourth, Mike Babcock (Detroit), has been linked, however tenuously, to a job elsewhere at season's end. But here they are, four wins from taking their teams to the Stanley Cup finals and eight wins away from Lord Stanley itself.

Here's a look at the men behind the benches:

CONFERENCE FINALS -- THE COACHES
MIKE BABCOCK JOHN STEVENS MICHEL THERRIEN DAVE TIPPETT

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has his team running on all cylinders heading into the West finals. His biggest move so far in the playoffs -- switching to Chris Osgood in net. Read on

John Stevens' tenure with Philly got off to a rocky start -- the team finished dead last in 2006-07. But thanks GM Paul Holmgren's faith in Stevens, the Flyers are back. Read on

Michel Therrien has had his share of critics during his time as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. But, over time, his progress with the team's younger players has paid dividends. Read on

If Dave Tippett looks calm behind the Dallas Stars' bench, that's because he is. That said, some players have noticed a little more pep from the coach this spring. Read on