MONTREAL -- The wild fans, the history and the weight of expectations make the Montreal Canadiens a demanding team for any hockey coach, especially those with no NHL experience. But three who were in that position in the late 1990s and early 2000s -- Alain Vigneault, Michel Therrien and Claude Julien -- have gone on to do some impressive things in the NHL. A victory in the Eastern Conference final between Vigneaults New York Rangers and Therrien, in his second stint with Montreal, will put one of them in a Stanley Cup final. Between the three men, they will have been to the final five times. In 2008, Therrien reached the final with the Pittsburgh Penguins, losing in six games to the Detroit Red Wings. In 2011, Juliens Boston Bruins defeated Vigneaults Vancouver Canucks to claim the Stanley Cup. And in 2013, Julien had the Bruins back in the final only to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks. All three have credited the chance they got to coach middling-to-weak Montreal teams with their later success, even if their head coaching prospects were in doubt when they were eventually let go by the Canadiens. "You never know about the future," said the 50-year-old Therrien, whose team is coming off a second-round win over Juliens Bruins. "We learned a lot when we were young and that goes with experience. "Having to deal a lot with you (reporters) is a big part of our job. But it goes through a process. It goes with experience. Myself, Alain, Claude, we were young coaches at the time and we learned a lot. We started in Montreal and, Alain and me, we almost took the same route. We went back to the minors and went back to junior and the American League. "So Im glad for the success (Vigneault) had in Vancouver and New York. That was a great learning experience as a young coach to start in Montreal." There were actually four inexperienced coaches in a row, as Mario Tremblay got it started when he replaced Jacques Demers in 1995. But while Tremblay later worked as an assistant, he never got another head coaching job. In 1997, Tremblay was replaced by Vigneault, a former Ottawa Senators assistant who had been coaching in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Vigneault was replaced midway through the 2000-01 campaign by Therrien, who in turn lost his job to Julien in 2003. Vigneault was out of coaching for two seasons but returned with the junior P.E.I. Rocket before being named head coach of the Manitoba Moose, the Canucks AHL affiliate at the time. He was promoted to the Vancouver job to start the 2006-07 season and promptly took the Canucks to a division title and got the Jack Adams Trophy as NHL coach of the year, beating out Therrien and Buffalos Lindy Ruff. The Quebec City natives Canucks finished first overall in the NHL twice. But a drop-off last season saw Vancouver opt for former Rangers coach John Tortorella while Vigneault signed a five-year deal with New York. Now Vigneaults looking for another trip to the final. "My first NHL gig as a head coach was in a beautiful place, a Canadian city where hockey is passionate, hockey is demanding," the 53-year-old said. "Expectations were always very high, so I learned a lot. "I worked with some great people. It took me six years to get another kick at the can and obviously when I got my other chance, I used my experience in Montreal and my experience of going back to junior and also going to the American League and tried to help my new NHL team the best way I could. Now, this year, the Rangers have given me another opportunity and thats what Im trying to do." When Therrien left Montreal, he got a job coaching the Penguins farm club in Wilkes-Barre and was promoted to the NHL club on Dec. 15, 2005. He was fired suddenly on Feb. 15, 2009, one season after going to the final, in favour of Dan Bylsma. The new coach got Pittsburgh back to the final and avenged the defeat of Therriens team the year before by beating the Red Wings for the Cup. Therrien worked in television while waiting for his next chance, which came when new general manager Marc Bergevin hired him to return to the Canadiens at the start of last season. After Montreal, Julien was hired by the New Jersey Devils, but he also fell victim to a surprise firing late in the 2006-07 season despite a 47-24-8 record. The Bruins snapped him up the following season. Patric Hornqvist Penguins Jersey . Seriously. Seven years of losing has brought many different faces, players and management, to the annual pre-season get-to-know-the-team round up. Sidney Crosby Penguins Jersey . "If we only consider this season," Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said, "there is just one club in Manchester -- and its ours. http://www.penguinsauthenticofficial.com/kris-letang-jersey/ . A night later, he was back to help lead a rout of the Detroit Pistons. John Wall had 20 points and 11 assists, and Beal scored 10 of his 15 points during the second quarter as Washington pulled away for a 106-82 victory on Saturday. Jake Guentzel Penguins Jersey . -- Jane Kish stopped all 25 shots she faced as the Weyburn Gold Wings blanked the Sudbury Lady Wolves 3-0 on Friday to advance to the gold-medal game at the Esso Cup. Larry Murphy Jersey .In a statement released Friday, the Catalan club said the Brazil stars recovery would be monitored to determine when he can begin training again.Canadas Kevin Koe is trying his best to avoid distractions and focus on curling as he prepares for the upcoming mens world curling championship. There have been a few challenges for Koe in the leadup to the competition, which opens Saturday at Beijings Capital Indoor Stadium. Chief among them is news that there are changes coming to his rink next season. Koes current lineup features second Carter Rycroft, third Pat Simmons and lead Nolan Thiessen. Rycroft, whose wife is pregnant, has already said hell be taking a year off after this season. Kevin Martin confirmed to The Canadian Press that Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert will be leaving his rink to join Koes team next season. Koe preferred to keep his focus on the world championship and declined to comment on the coming changes. The future plans of Simmons and Thiessen were unclear. It was the first major shakeup in whats expected to be a summer of significant change on the mens curling scene now that the four-year Olympic cycle is complete. The timing is less than ideal for Koe and his teammates. Gerry Peckham, the Canadian Curling Associations high-performance director, expects Koe to be able to lock in on the immediate task before him. "Our analysis of his performance skills and performance attributes would suggest that hes an incredibly focused individual and is seldom distracted by anything external to the game at hand," Peckham said. "I think those teammates have looked in each other in the eye again, squared their shoulders, are shaking each others hands and are now moving on to complete this journey of a world championship." Koe won gold in his only previous appearance at the world championship, taking top spot at the 2010 playdowns in Cortina DAmpezzo, Italy. At this years event, Canada will be a favourite along with Scotland, Sweden, Norway and China. The 12-team field is rounded out by the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Russia, Switzerland and the United States. "Canada used to be known obviously as a big favourite going in all the time but you quickly realize how the gap is changing," Koe said. "Our experience in 2010 was awesome in Italy and it was a great feeling to win. But this is just as important for us. "To get to be two-time world champs would be pretty neat and kind of validate our first win." Koe arrived early in the week so that hed have time to adjust to the 14-hour time change. He was greeted by plenty of smog, heat and humidity. Hes also still getting used to the various culinary options in the Chinese capital. "Its a bit of a culture shock for us," Koe said in a recent interview. "Big difference from what were used to. Obviously a huge city but it will be a great experience." Koe had a strong performance at the Tim Hortons Brier and is enjoying another solid year on the World Curling Tour. Hes third on the money list and fourth in the order of merit standings behind only Olympic champ Brad Jacobs, Howard and Jeff Stoughton.dddddddddddd The only change from the 2010 lineup is that Simmons has replaced Blake MacDonald on the Calgary-based rink. "We dont get too excited or too worked up as a team," Koe said. "Were pretty calm. Obviously the experience of being to one (world championship) will help for sure, especially when youre coming to a foreign country where everything is different. "At least we can rely on the experience once we actually get on the ice of knowing weve been to the worlds and we did well last time." Its the first World Curling Federation world championship event to be staged in China. The venue was used for volleyball competition at the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Chinese team skipped by Rui Liu is coming off a fourth-place result at the Sochi Games. Scotlands Ewan MacDonald has three world titles to his name although this is his first appearance as skip. Thomas Ulsrud, who won Olympic silver at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, will skip the Norwegian team. "We know most of these teams and theyre all pretty good," Koe said. "Not too many easy games out there." Swedens Niklas Edin is not back to defend the title he won last year in Victoria. Instead, Oskar Eriksson will skip the Swedish entry. Round-robin play will continue through Thursday evening and tiebreakers will be used if needed to determine the top four teams. The Page playoff system will be used ahead of the medal games on April 6. Koe said the ice conditions in the venue will be a huge factor. "They do have some great icemakers but its really warm here," he said. "Its supposedly pushing 30 (degrees Celsius) here and they had an event in the facility early in the year and there was a lot of problems. But I think theyve brought in some dehumidifiers and air conditioning to cool the arena down. "Thats the big worry here. If the ice is good, I for sure like our chances. Bad ice would be a bit of an equalizer I think. But when you have some of the best icemakers in the world, Im sure theyll get it figured out." Canada has won gold three of the last four years at this event. Stoughton was victorious in 2011 at Regina and Howard won at Basel, Switzerland in 2012. The Canadians are scheduled to open against Denmarks Rasmus Stjerne on Saturday. "You have four very solid, confident, resolved individuals (who are) mentally tough," said Peckham. "I think they realize the significance and the importance of this world championship to themselves individually and as a collective, and then of course representing this curling nation of Canada. "So I think theyve gone out the door with their game face on." The world championship will return to Canada next year as Halifax plays host. ' ' '