Barry Trotz knows the Washinton Capitals’ history. He knows they’ve never won a Stanley Cup. He knows they’ve had some good teams that have come up short in big games. He knows they’ve had their shares of 3-1 series leads, only to lose in seven.
And he’s fine with that.
“We can change that history,” Trotz said today, per the Washington Post. “I do believe the Boston Red Sox won a World Series, right? They went a long stretch there, right? But they did win, right? The odds were in their favor at some point. That’s what I’m saying. The odds are in our favor. This group can do something and you want to change history, you want to change perception. You just go out and do it. I think that should motivate you. Not bring you down. That to me should be very motivating.”
It’s the Capitals’ painful playoff history — from getting swept the first time they made it to the conference finals in 1990, to getting swept the first time they made it to the finals in 1998, to winning the Presidents’ Trophy in 2010, only to blow a 3-1 series lead in the first round — that, combined with the tremendous opportunity they’ll receive should they beat the Rangers, makes Wednesday’s game in New York arguably the biggest in franchise history.
Said Trotz: “I know a lot of people are going to write about hey, we haven’t done this, and when we’ve been leading two, I was reading some stuff, our record’s not very good as an organization. True. Absolutely true. But we can change that.”
A history of blowing 3-1 series leads
1987: Led the Islanders 3-1 in the first round, lost in 7
1992: Led the Penguins 3-1 in the first round, lost in 7
1995: Led the Penguins 3-1 in the first round, lost in 7
2010: Led the Canadiens 3-1 in the first round, lost in 7