Coach Trotz appears to be trying something new–again–with the lines. For the Oilers’ game, Coach moved T.J. Oshie to the second line and moved Andre Burakovsky up to the first. And we know how that game went with all the penalties, missed opportunities, a single goal by Alexander Ovechkin, and a 4-1 loss.
This sparked shock and horror to many fans as the Caps lost two straight games in regulation – something they hadn’t done since March of 2015, according to Mike Vogel. From what we are hearing and reading, Caps fans are feeling as if something is off.
And now we are hearing from reporters at the Vancouver practice that Trotz has really shifted the lines again.
Ovechkin Backstrom Williams
Johansson Kuznetzov Wilson
Burakovsky Eller Oshie
Sanford Beagle Connolly
So we have Tom Wilson moving up to the second line and Oshie moving to the third and a big switch up with Williams moving to the first line. We have gotten used to seeing Backstrom move back and forth between the top two lines, so this is no great surprise. But quite frankly, this latest move has many of us scratching our heads.
We get that Trotz likes to keep things fluid and keep the players from becoming complacent. We get that he likes to reward those that play hard and demote those whom he thinks haven’t shown enough enthusiasm for the win. We just aren’t sure what these changes indicate, if anything.
- Is he hoping to spark Wilson into a more offensive player by paring him with Mojo and Kuzy? He still leads the team in penalty minutes and has only had six SOG.
- Is there a chemistry there that we aren’t seeing or that coach hopes to create?
- What will Williams bring to the first line that is missing? Leadership? He hasn’t exactly been heating up the ice with SOG or goals.
We have said it before, and we will say it again: IN TROTZ WE TRUST!
They pay him the big bucks to figure this stuff out. We know something is off and it is up to him to find the way back to the kind of winning we saw last season. We have to remember that he knows things about the team which we are not privy to and so for now:
Breathe Friends – Breathe. And hang on until we see how things go on Saturday.