I like to assume that Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz is a man of few words who says directly what he means, and very much means what he says.
In that case, Alexander Ovechkin better pick up his game.
In an interview with former hometown newspaper The Tennessean, Trotz tells Josh Cooper that he and Ovi get along just swimmingly… for now.
“I think people make too much out of it,” Trotz said. “I do know how I operate will be different from previous [coaching] staffs. Until we go into the season and start playing real games, our relationship will be fine.”
It’s easy to assume that chances are good it was just an unfortunate turn of phrase; I’m sure that Trotz can determine shortcomings and assess what changes need to be made to Ovechkin’s game before the start of the season.
Of course, there is always Trotz’s reputation as a straight shooter. Maybe Ovechkin is going to have to realize that this coach is going to demand more from his star forward than previous coaches have been able to communicate.