“I think it’ll be a hell of a series,” said Trotz, who coached the Washington Capitals for four seasons before joining the New York Islanders in June 2018. “Both teams are well equipped to go at each other.”
“It’ll be a great challenge, because I know the people over there,” Trotz said following the Islanders’ practice Sunday.
There may be no better source on the Capitals remaining 12 players from the 2018 Stanley Cup team than Barry Trotz, who coached the team to the franchise’s first championship.
He acknowledged just how familiar he is with the Capitals’ arsenal, adding that being their former coach gives him “a little insight into some of their tendencies.” He mentioned that he plans to prepare his team for the Capitals’ power play and “top notch” special teams game.
“That group has a lot of pedigree, they have a lot of star power and they’ve won championships,” Trotz said. “They’re well equipped in a lot of areas.”
On November 26, 2018, joined by assistants Lane Lambert and Mitch Korn, who worked with Trotz in Washington for four years, Trotz received his Stanley Cup ring and was given the chance to address the players one last time.
Trotz thanked the Capitals for the memories and told them they were good enough to win the Cup again. But …
“You’ll have to go through the (bleeping) island,” Trotz told them that night. … “I’m going to try and do the same thing on the island. We’ve got lots of work to do to hopefully have the same memories on the island as I always will with you guys.”
Trotz’s voice cracked towards the end of his address. His first championship in 19 seasons as an NHL coach, Trotz told the Capitals, “I can die a happy man.”
Capitals bench boss Todd Reirden had similar thoughts when asked about the matchup Sunday night following the Capitals 2-1 win over the Bruins.
“Obviously we were able to accomplish something amazing together, and that’s something that you’ll never forget as a staff. That’s never going to go away,” Reirden said. “It’s unique now being on opposite benches, and it has been. Obviously it’s been a couple years now so it’s died down a little bit, but the importance of knowing some of the tendencies, some of the things that I have seen Barry Trotz’s teams do and his coaching style and stuff is stuff that I paid close attention to for a few years.”
The Capitals and the Islanders open their best-of-seven series Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. ET.