New Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz already spoke about improving Alex Ovechkin’s game, but what about struggling defenseman Mike Green?
Trotz told the Washington Post that he hasn’t given up on a blueliner who draws a ton of criticism (at least when he’s relevant enough to generate any attention at all).
“It’s probably unfair for me to go he’s written off,” Trotz said. “He’s not when I look at him, I see some of the things and say you can do that a lot better. Then sometimes I see things and I’ll go wow, that’s guys got things a few people can do.
“With Mike it’s getting a fresh start with me in terms of that and hopefully it’s a big deal for him.”
Trotz rightly points out that the 28-year-old has been dealing with serious injury concerns, although it’s unclear how exactly the Capitals might ease his troubles.
Really, one goal might be to simply get him out of his own head. As Trotz mentions, Green can be “pretty dynamic” when his game is on, yet that hasn’t happened as often as the Capitals would like lately.
Considering this, though: Green is a lot like a troubled quarterback dealing on an NFL team that keeps rotating head coaches and philosophies. Since firing Bruce Boudreau during the 2011-12 season, the Capitals briefly brought in Dale Hunter, went through two very … distinct seasons with Adam Oates and now provide a very different (if maybe somewhat Hunter-like) voice in Trotz.
Sports coaches often feel like they can “fix” a player and Green strikes many as the type who needs a renovation, so it’s possible that his head could be spinning from hearing about all the things he allegedly needs to change.
If nothing else, Trotz can make a difference merely by providing Green with something he might not get very often: encouragement.