The Washington Capitals’ hiring of Barry Trotz last spring brought with it a much-needed cultural change . One fairly evident trait of last season’s Washington Capitals team was the ability to rally and keep themselves in games in which they initially dug themselves deep holes. The ‘never quit’ mentality that Trotz implemented helped the Caps earn extra points in games they most likely shouldn’t have.
October 14th 2014-
In a showdown against the San Jose Sharks, the Washington Capitals found themselves down three goals early, in only the 3rd game of the season. The Caps ended up losing the game 6-5 in a shootout, but the fact that they gained at least one point after going down 3-0 early in the first, said a lot about what Barry Trotz was bringing to the team.
March 28th 2015-
In a matchup against his former team, Barry Trotz and the Washington Capitals once again fell into a 3-0 hole to the Nashville Predators before the 1st period came to an end. Although the Caps lost this game 4-3 in regulation, the game and teams effort once again demonstrated the team’s ‘never quit’ mentality. The Caps made it 3-2 at one point in the game, but still ended up losing 4-3.
March 29th 2015-
In a matchup against the rival New York Rangers, the Caps fell into a hole down 2-0 against arguably the league’s best team at that time. The Caps climbed out of the 2-0 deficit and made a comeback to win 5-2. Jason Chimera led the way, tallying two goals in the 3rd. This is just another example where Trotz expected the Caps to play a full 60 minutes and they did.
April 4th 2015-
The Ottawa Senators at the time were the hottest team in the league. Ottawa was making a strong playoff push, and Ottawa started off the game fast and strong, putting the Caps into a 3-0 deficit before the 1st period had even ended, but the Caps took it shift by shift and eventually tied it up late in the 3rd with a goal by Troy Brouwer. The Caps ended up losing the game in OT 4-3, with a Kyle Turris breakaway GWG. This game easily could have been a blow out, but the Caps stuck with it, and ended up earning 1 point.
April 17th 2015-
In the playoffs the Capitals squared off against the New York Islanders in a game 2, where the Capitals were already down 1-0 in the series. The Caps ended up going down 2-0 after just three minutes into the 2nd period. Then eventually it would be 3-1 Islanders midway through the 2nd period. The Caps then rallied, Alex Ovechkin scored late in the 2nd to make it 3-2, and then Nick Backstrom and Jason Chimera took care of business to complete the comeback and win 4-3 and tie the series 1-1.
These are just some examples of the games throughout the regular and postseason, that the Caps battled their way back to earn points. In recent years under Adam Oates; if the Capitals were to go down early in a game, it most likely resulted in the team calling it a night, and losing without any points. Lots of credit goes to Barry Trotz for installing this mentality into his team.