It’s most appropriate that on Halloween, that Barry Trotz tried madman experiments. The game against Florida was the second of a back-to-back situation for both teams. Neither team had great energy or sustained offense. With the Caps down 1-0 and looking for a goal, Trotz mixed up lines looking for the game tying goal. He then tried a mix that no one thought they would see again, Jay Beagle centering a line with Alex Ovechkin on the wing.
Trotz had tried mixing skill players to score that tying goal. This Frankstein line was different. Ovechkin, Beagle, and Williams. Just like the famous monster, this line could beat people up and grind their way to a goal. Ovechkin and Beagle are physical monsters, and Williams isn’t exactly small. In the third period it paid dividends, when Beagle scored that filthy kind of goal that you sometimes need to win.
The mad scientist had built a monster to smash their way to a tying goal. The game, now tied, went into the wide open 3-on-3 format. Trotz hadn’t put Kuznetsov with Ovechkin for much of the game, then with less than two minutes left in the game he puts them on the ice together, with Dmitry Orlov.
The Russian Troika, Thoroughbreds, probably the three best skaters on the team. The opposite of the Frankstein’s Monster, and against a dead tired Panthers team. The ending was spectacular. Orlov controlled the puck and skated deep into the zone. He passed the puck to the hottest man alive, Evgeny Kuznetsov, who made a great drop pass fake to Alex Ovechkin, and then blew past Cambell for a sneaky goal. Game Over. Speed kills.
What is amazing is that this team has such a varied and deep team. They can win all sorts of ways. They can go from Smash-and-Grab to full-on-afterburners to win. What is even better is that they have a great coach, who knows what each person on his team can do…and he isn’t afraid to try both new player combinations and different strategies to get goals and win games. All hail the Mad Scientist, Barry Trotz!
By Lincoln Cajulis