The Caps first coach to come to Washington with NHL coaching
experience since Ron Wilson in 1997, Barry Trotz, makes his debut as bench boss
for the Capitals on Thursday. He's already
instilled subtle changes in the locker room that will be interesting to watch.
A rope line around the Caps logo on the floor of the locker room, placed there so
no one can walk on it. Corny, yes, but can the little things turn around the
country club culture that started years ago?
Another change is the leadership group, consisting of Alex
Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Brooks Orpik, Troy Brouwer, Brooks
Laich, John Carlson and Jason Chimera, that he uses to discuss the direction he
wants to take the Caps. This is an
approach Trotz used in Nashville. Hopefully, the group will take the pressure
off Ovie. Having Orpik helps with this, too.
Trotz starts his debut with the Caps lacking personnel for a
key element of a winning hockey team, depth down the middle. The Caps don't
have a second line center. For those
keeping score, this deficiency has hampered the Caps since Alex Ovechkin
steamrolled onto the scene in 2005. Second line centers aren't easy to come by,
particularly on the open market, so it's best to develop players for that
position. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Andre
Burakovsky are both playing center with some skill, but Burakovsky is a rookie
winger, not center, and Kuznetsov played wing his last couple of years in
Russia and is awful on face offs, 18.5% in his 27 tries last season. That
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Let's go Caps!
Labels: Alex Ovechkin, barry trotz, Washington Capitals