Photos by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images
Travis Boyd received some surprising news Sunday morning at the Capitals’ team meeting held prior to the Capitals contest with the Philadelphia Flyers. With Evgeny Kuznetsov sidelined with an upper-body injury, Boyd found out from head coach Barry Trotz that he would Be filling in for Kuznetsov on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson. An excellent opportunity for 24-year old center to shine.
With the Capitals trailing 1-0 in the second period, Boyd drove the puck between two defenders and used a spin move to dish a no-look pass right to Alex Ovechkin, who quickly put the puck past Petr Mrazek to tie the game.
NBC Sports Washington color commentator Craig Laughlin pointed out, Boyd will remember this forever, with his first NHL point coming on a highlight reel pass to a future hall-of-famer who recently scored his 600th career goal.
Following the game Boyd spoke to the media about the opportunity of playing on a line with Ovechkin.
Head coach Barry Trotz also talked to the media and mentioned that he might place Boyd with Ovechkin and Wilson on the top line while Kuznetsov is out.
“That was quite an assist on (Ovechkin’s) goal. He played really well. He’s very intelligent. He’s got poise with the puck… He’s been one of the best players in Hershey the last couple of years. He’s grown his game,” noted Trotz.
When asked about why he placed Boyd on the top line, Trotz responded, “He’s got all the attributes to be a very effective player in this league, so I wanted to bump him right up because of his hockey sense and his intelligence. Knowing the leadership that we have with guys like Tom and Ovi, they would embrace that and go from there, because I felt like the other lines were fine.”
There’s no telling when Kuznetsov will be back on the ice, but as we saw Sunday evening, Boyd looks to be up for the challenge of filling in.
By Michael Marzzacco