In Alex Ovechkin‘s career in the National Hockey League, he is set to see his fifth coach in Barry Trotz coming this year. This is also the Caps fifth coach in seven years as well. Who is at fault to blame for the coaching turnaround. Is it Ovechkin? Is he a “coach killer”? Or is the ownership that is looking for that win now mentality and they have not gotten it yet?
Whatever it is, the question at hand is will Ovechkin and Trotz be able to work together and create an atmosphere for everyone to win?
Ovechkin is the type of player that does not really play defense. Most notably, Ovechkin clashed with Caps former coach Dale Hunter, a defensive minded coach, that would bench Ovechkin frequently.
Barry Trotz leads the same type of mentality as well. A good defense is a better offense. Will this confine Ovechkin and his ability to play? Is Trotz going to take a similar stance and bench Ovechkin to make a point? Time will only tell with these questions.
How much of an effect has Ovechkin had on the departure of the last couple of coaches? Adam Oates, basically sunk himself. He had a terrible first year and didn’t get much better in the second. Hunter stepped down after one season to go back to the OHL London Knights, which he owns and coaches. Boudreau’s inability to figure the playoffs got him the can and he still hasn’t figured it out to this date. Of those three, there was no evidence that Ovechkin was the main factor in getting this coaches removed to forced to step down from their positions.
Look past the coaching, actually at the level of coaching no coach having playoff experience or prior championship caliber coaching experience. Their defense has not been what it needs to be to win a championship either. For the Caps to win, defense needs to be a focal point in this years coming draft. But that doesn’t do anything for the here and now. A trade may be in order to get the Caps what they need right now. But, first thing is first, Ovechkin and Trotz need to be on the same page with the philosophy that will encompass this locker room. If the face of the franchise and the coach don’t see eye to eye, then there could be a rift that could affect the entire locker room and it wont be for the good.
I am not saying in anyway that Ovechkin is a “coach killer” but he does have some effect as to what happens and an easy transition for all is the best recipe to win at this point.