Trotz gave Caps’ top line a pep talk, Ovechkin included


It’s too early to panic, but it’s never too early to have a chat with a top player when he isn’t scoring.

That seemed to be the message Barry Trotz sent to the Washington Capitals’ top line of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie, as CSN Mid-Atlantic reports.

“I talked to all three members today,” Trotz said after Monday’s practice. “The biggest thing is finding their game within our game …That’s the decision making. That’s the work ethic. The execution, all that. It was fine when I put [the line] together many times last year, and it will be fine again.”

“Finding their game within our game” is indeed the ideal scenario in Trotz’s mind. Their peak state is to meld the team’s considerable offensive firepower with that defensive system to create an unstoppable combination.

Through two games, the Capitals have allowed and given up four goals, with zero points coming from Ovechkin, Oshie and Kuznetsov.

Looking at various metrics, it’s silly to be too concerned indeed; the trio combined for 14 shots on goal through two contests. Ovechkin, as usual, led the way with eight SOG (second-only on the time to volume-shooting defenseman John Carlson).

If they keep firing away, the results should follow.

As that CSN Mid-Atlantic piece notes, it’s not as if Trotz doesn’t have other options if the trio really can’t get it together.

It’s no secret that Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom were once a fearsome combo. Honestly, there was time when it was unthinkable to break up one of hockey’s Joe Montana to Jerry Rice-type bonds.

The Capitals are well-served in keeping Backstrom with Andre Burakovsky and Marcus Johansson, but even then, Trotz enjoys a wealth of options.

If that top line just can’t find that chemistry, they could always put talented veteran winger Justin Williams in Oshie’s spot, too.

So … yeah, nothing to see here really. Not yet.

Check out the full story here, even if it’s just to bask in the glory of Trotz talking about dancing. Imagine Trotz dancing. Do it.