Trotz Appears to Inspire Marcus Johansson
Early signs are in that Washington Caps Coach Barry Trotz appears to inspire Marcus Johansson because he's producing more results this season than he ever has. He's 54th in the league in points, with 12 in 15 games this season, versus 121st last season. If Trotz can inspire Johansson to live up to his 1st round, 26th overall draft position expectations, the Caps will be better off. He's never played more confidently and it's great to watch him shoot more and get rewarded for it.
There were high expectations for Johansson when he was drafted. He was a fast and smooth skating player from the Swedish Elite League, a perfect finesse player in the eyes of former General Manager George McPhee, but not what the Caps needed. They had too much finesse and not enough grit.
The coaching merry-go-round from Bruce Boudreau to Dale Hunter to Adam Oates to Barry Trotz also hindered Johansson's development. None of them got through to him about how to compete in the playoffs or win board battles. Johansson's 11-points in 30 playoff games provides proof of that. But, this season offers hope that Trotz may be able to make Johansson the hockey player he was projected to be.
Let's hope that happens and he learns how to play in the playoffs, assuming the Caps make it. Tough call to make at this point.
Let's go Caps!