After the Washington Capitals held a morning skate Monday prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, head coach Barry Trotz talked to the media. During the press conference he was asked about the adversity the team had to overcome early in the season to get to the Stanley Cup Finals as well as the importance of Game 4.
Game 3 on Saturday night was top notch atmosphere throughout Washington, D.C. The fans inside the arena, outside the arena, and in the bars surrounding the arena made a ton of noise and brought the energy. The Capitals fed off of that to deliver a win in front of the crowd. Despite the emotional high surrounding winning your first Stanley Cup Finals home game and going up 2-1 in the series, Trotz knows that his club’s work is far from over. Game 4 is very critical.
“It’s extremely important. We don’t want to get too far ahead. We know the importance of this game,” said Trotz.
“You can put yourself in a real good position after tonight but at the same time you’re playing a real good opponent, an opponent that’s very desperate and going to have their best game. We have to have our best game.”
Getting this far wasn’t easy for the boys in red. Throughout the season, they had to adjust to team chemistry with a new roster. Through the first 20 games of the season, the Capitals were just 10-9-1. After that early season struggle, they could’ve folded but they came together as a team.
“I think when you get in a bad place you have a lot of self pity, ‘why me?’ and you’re the victim. You’re not the victim, you have choices. The choices are to get up or stay down,” Trotz added.
“If you’re the victim, you stay down, you roll up in a ball and cry like a baby. If you’re not a victim, you get up and dust yourself off and say ‘screw this. I’m not taking it anymore.’ I think they learned that.”
The Capitals overcame some unique adversity and playing in June speaks for itself.
By Michael Marzzacco