Players pile up goals and assists, but the ins and outs of game action are orchestrated from the bench. Head coaches work with their respective staff and scouts throughout the season to put their squad in a position to succeed.
Evolution and improvisation are necessary tools of the trade, and each leader's ability to adapt on the fly has helped the final four teams survive to this point. Conference finals action is underway, and the Stanley Cup is squarely within reach for each of the organizations remaining in the mix.
The journeys have varied for Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Pittsburgh. Savvy roster decisions and exceptional game-planning serve as a commonality among the group.
Here's a look at how each coach has collected enough victories to advance to one step away from a Stanley Cup title clash.