The Washington Capitals recently held a blood drive at Kettler Iceplex in Arlington, Virginia. Joel Ward made an appearance and spoke to the media. Here’s a transcript of the interview.
Joel Ward on how he has been since the World Championships:
Yeah after the Worlds… it was good. My girlfriend and I went to Europe, it was the first time we had been over there. There’s a lot to see over there, and we came home… been starting my training.
On how Barry Trotz operates as a head coach:
Barry’s just detailed… he’s a very simple, detailed guy. He is a very big family guy. I think he’s going to make sure as a team, we’re all very close together and closer as a unit both on and off the ice… On ice, I expect us to be a lot more detailed. You’ll get a sense right way of guys having to do some homework at times. Again, it’s going to be fun though, but at the same time, it’s going to be a hardworking team. From my years of experience in Nashville, we weren’t the most talented on paper, but we always found a way of just being hardworking and earning our grit in points. I expect us to do that here. Hopefully it turns into a more positive side and get in the playoffs and to the big dance and down the road hopefully being in the finals.
Joel Ward on sort of being like a liaison between Trotz and the players:
Yeah… I think now I’ve gotta, you know, tell some guys a few things…*chuckles*… It’s going to be a change, but it’s going to be helpful knowing that I have that experience with him. It’s definitely been a good relationship in the past and hopefully keep that going. Definitely I can always teach a few guys some of the tendencies and some of the things that we’ve done back in Nashville that I’m sure he’ll carry over.
Joel Ward on his reaction when he heard that the Capitals had hired Barry Trotz:
Well, it’s always tough when you have to deal with four coaches in four years. I was a little upset with the fact that we had to change coaches again. You try to gain a rapport with one and you try to build off that. Again, it’s definitely a good sign to have somebody that I knew a little bit. Hopefully [Barry Trotz] thinks I got better since then and we keep going from there.
Joel Ward on Trotz’s reputation as a defensive minded coach:
I never thought Barry was a defensive-minded guy. I just thought there was a lot of detail. You want to be good in your own end. I don’t think he’s, as people call him, a quote-unquote defensive-minded guy. I just think it was detail up and down the ice. We have to get out of our own zone a little better and be strong on our back end. I’m looking forward to guys obviously like [Ovechkin], [Backstrom]… I’m sure that’s going to be a few new guys for him, fun for sure, more excitement and fun for us.
Joel Ward on the Capitals’ free agent acquistions:
It’s definitely helpful on the back end. Congrats to them on good deals. I think we just got way better on the back end, for sure. That’s just going to help us create more offense in the offensive zone by getting out a little faster in our own zone. Excited to meet the guys. I briefly swapped texts with them. It’s always a good time to meet new guys and new teammates.
Joel Ward on his expectations of himself going into a contract year:
Score 50 goals… *chuckles* Seriously, for me, I had a good opportunity last year. Had some power play which was helpful, just getting some confidence. I can’t really worry about it too much. I think when you start worry about stats and whatnot, then I think you might lose focus. I think the main thing for me is just going out there and trying to work hard and play good defense in my own zone first. If I’m with [Chimera] again, obviously I know his tendencies and just chip it off the wall and let him skate and keep it moving.