Barry Trotz is out to change the culture of the Washington Capitals.
And the new head coach knows that’s not an easy — or comfortable — thing to do.
“There’s no black and white,” Trotz told Monumental Network recently (video). “You have to be very specific, because guys don’t know what you want all the time. … At first there will be some pain. At the same time, the players want accountability, they want structure, and they want discipline. … It’ll be uncomfortable for some guys.”
Trotz has already spoken with captain and face of the franchise Alex Ovechkin.
“We’re going to work through some things that he can improve on to make him a better player,” Trotz said. “If he’s a better player, he’s going to make us a better team.”
The Capitals missed the playoffs in 2014 for the first time since 2007. Change soon followed, with the naming of a new coach, Trotz, and new general manager, Brian MacLellan.
“I think everyone knows what’s expected,” said Trotz. “The professionalism and the expectations are such that you have to buy in or we’ll be butting heads.”
Related: What does ‘good defense’ mean to Barry Trotz?
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.