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Category: Washington-Capitals

Will Alex Ovechkin “Grow His Game”?

from the CP at TSN,

Trotz is the new coach of the Washington Capitals, which means first and foremost he is the coach of the immensely talented three-time league MVP whose individual accolades have yet to translate into substantial playoff success. Things will be plenty different for everyone when training camp opens Friday, but what arguably matters most is how No. 8 takes to yet another attempt to change the way he plays.

"Physically, he's a strong guy," Trotz said in an interview with The Associated Press. "But there's areas in his game he needs to grow in, and that's really my job, to help him grow his game."

Trotz is Washington's fifth coach since Ovechkin entered the league in 2005, but he's the first who has been a head coach elsewhere in the NHL. He led the Nashville Predators from inception to this year, with 1,246 regular season and playoff games under his belt. He has an established idea how he wants to run a team -- he's already rejigged the coaches' meeting room with more cutting-edge technology and made it more of a "war room." He has so much cache that he was able to give owner Ted Leonsis a frank assessment of the Capitals' deficiencies while interviewing for the job.

"It's the culture," Trotz said. "I just think a little bit of the inmates were running the asylum, that's No. 1. I think there's good talent, and I felt it needed some order."

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Morning Line- Barry Trotz

“Everybody thinks I’m going to turn him into a Selke-winner. People say he had a rotten year last year, but he still scored eight more goals than the nearest guy in the Rocket Richard race. I don’t want to disrespect his gift – the gift of scoring goals, which is one of the hardest things to do.

“I’m not going to get him to be that super-detailed Doug Jarvis type. I just need him to work defensively and have some pride in getting the puck back. That’s the way I’ve talked to him. Get the puck and score, but if we don’t have the puck, I want a plan to get it back quickly so we can go score again.”

-Barry Trotz, head coach of the Washington Capitals on Alex Ovechkin.  More from Trotz by Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.

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  Tags: barry+trotz

Afternoon Line

“If I was another team, I’d be a little bit worried, to be honest. The depth that we have is incredible. Anybody can be top-two pairing right down to the bottom. It’s not about who’s the top pairing. It’s about what the coaches want, who they want to put out there.”

-Mike Green of the Washington Capitals.  More from Green plus Barry Trotz on Green by Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider.

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  Tags: mike+green

Afternoon Line

“Responsibility on us, is always on us. Coaches, trainers, the head guy [team owner Ted Leonsis] give us a wake-up call, say, listen, you have to do something, you guys have to win or you guys going to be next. I’m pretty sure this organization and the fans is tired to losing and not show exactly what we can do. That’s why we made the changes.”

-Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.  More from Ovechkin by Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin

All About The Winter Classic At Nationals Park Between Washington And Chicago

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals will host the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2015, at Nationals Park, the National Hockey League, the Washington Capitals and the Washington Nationals announced today. In addition, the Capitals NHL Winter Classic uniforms will be unveiled during a special event at Nationals Park on Sept. 23 at 12 p.m. 

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Morning Line

“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a tough training camp, because everybody going to be excited. New team, new coaching staff, new players. It’s going to be totally different.”

“We’ll have to have a good start and snowballl. Just have to get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger, so we’ll be ready for the big one.”

-Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.  More from Ovechkin by Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider.

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin

Morning Line

If Trotz and Kuznetsov (not to mention new D-men Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen) can elevate the Caps, Washington will definitely get back to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus. And if Kuznetsov is as good as he has trended in his young career, who knows how good the Caps can be in the future.

-Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News where you can read more on Evgeny Kuznetsov.

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  Tags: evgeny+kuznetsov

Morning Line

Will Orpik be worth the $5.5 million cap hit he’ll carry in the final year of his five-year contract at the age of 39? Probably not. But the Caps are convinced he will make a very big impact on this year’s club and make them a legitimate threat in the playoffs.

-Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington on defenseman Brooks Orpik. Read more on Orpik from Gormley....

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  Tags: brooks+orpik

Rod Langway On The Washington Capitals

from Katie Strang of ESPN,

The 57-year-old Langway, reached via phone at his residence outside Fredericksburg, Virginia, said he thinks an improved defense will be a huge asset for the Capitals moving forward. The Capitals also added another former Penguin, veteran Brooks Orpik, for good measure to round out a back end that was a sore spot for the team last season.

"They have more balanced defensemen now,” Langway told ESPN.com “They have their 1-2 defenseman, their 3-4 that can play against top players but might rather not, and their 5-6 can play on the penalty kill, fill in, or be tough guys that play against tough guys. That can change the momentum. I don’t think the Capitals have had that for years."

Whereas Mike Green was once considered among the elite defenseman in the league, particularly for his offensive abilities, he has been plagued by injuries and inconsistency in recent years. John Carlson has been regarded as one of the top young blueliners in the league, but the defense struggled as a whole this past season. Now, with more depth, certain players like Carlson and Green may have a little less responsibility and a little more freedom to produce offensively.

That won’t be the only positive spillover effect, either. Langway thinks an improved defense could also pay dividends for the likes of Ovechkin, who was routinely criticized for his defensive shortcomings last season despite leading the league with 51 goals and nabbing his fourth Rocket Richard Trophy. 

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Workout

Yes, it is that time of year...

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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