‘Road to the NHL Winter Classic’ producer thinks Ovechkin has ‘really connected’ with Trotz

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For critically acclaimed producer Ross Greenburg, making compelling television is all about finding a compelling story to tell.

Greenburg, the creator of the award-winning 24-7 series on HBO, thinks he’s found a pretty good tale in his latest project, EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Winter Classic. And that’s the relationship between Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and new head coach Barry Trotz.

“There’s something going on between him and Barry Trotz,” Greenburg told PHT on Monday. “I think this is one of the first coaches he’s really connected with since [the Caps] had their run, which was at the beginning of his career.”

Greenburg believes Trotz has helped Ovechkin rediscover his love for the game, something that may have wavered in recent years as the Capitals struggled to meet expectations and changed coaches multiple times.

“You can see his enthusiasm,” he said, “and I think a lot of that has to do with Trotz.”

The winning probably helps too. The Caps will enter tomorrow’s Winter Classic at Nationals Park with an 18-11-7 record, good for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Not surprisingly, much of the focus heading into the annual outdoor game has been on Ovechkin.

“When you’re such a superstar, it’s important that people get to know him,” said Greenburg.

“He’s been real amenable to being part of the show. It’s been fantastic, to be honest. He’s done everything he could to put himself out there.”

The first three episodes of Road to the NHL Winter Classic can be seen New Year’s Eve on NBCSN.

Related: How ‘Road to the Winter Classic’ producer treated the loss of beloved Blackhawks’ equipment manager