The Washington Capitals are on the brink of elimination.
The Washington Capitals have their backs to the wall down 0-3 against the New York Islanders and Barry Trotz. People are already comparing the coaches and it doesn’t bode well for Todd Reirden who perhaps may have lost the team.
Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post (subscription required) summed it up best in his column, that Barry Trotz has taken a black crayon and drawn a mustache on Reirden.
There was one thing the 2018 team had and now that team is a far cry away from the current edition: heart. But it isn’t like they aren’t trying. This isn’t Jakub Vrana’s fault.
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Vrana had two good looks in overtime and missed them both on a breakaway. As soon as the Islanders won it the TV cameras showed Vrana with his head down on the bench, crushed that he missed a golden opportunity to win the game.
Caps fans are wrong for blaming Vrana. Losing is a team effort and if you want to blame it starts at the top. Not player wise but the coach.
It begs the question what will happen if the Caps lose on Tuesday night. Their season would end and General Manager Brian MacLellan would have to do a through evaluation of his team.
“I put pressure on myself all the time. I believe in myself as a coach and belive in our team and our leadership group that we can focus on getting this one win here and seeing where it takes us from there,” Reirden said after the game.
Reirden added, “That’s where our mind needs to be. It’s the top league in the world, and there’s good players and there’s good coaches, and that’s a challenge every night.”
The Caps now embark on a do or die Game 4. Win it and their season is alive. Lose it and then comes all the questions. After the Caps lost in the second round in 2017-18 with Trotz as the coach, he never got a contract extension and nearly lost his job in November. During that time over the course of two seasons the Caps prevented teams from speaking to Reriden. It was inevitable he would coach.
Now Trotz is showing the Caps they should have kept him after he guided them to their first Stanley Cup. And Reirden can’t seem to solve this problem. We’ll see if he can in Game 4.