“Now That He Has His Sights On It, There’s No Question He’s Going to Get It”: Former Capitals Coach Barry Trotz On Alex Ovechkin’s 800th Goal and Climb Up the NHL Record Books

Joe Noyes Photography/NoVa Caps

Former Washington Capitals Head Coach Barry Trotz coached Alexander Ovechkin for four seasons, and was the bench boss who witnessed The Great Eight finally hoist the Stanley Cup in 2018, after which he resigned due to a contract dispute with the team.

Trotz, who has taken some time away from an NHL bench after being fired by the New York Islanders at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season, recently appeared on The Chirp Podcast with Daren Millard and was asked about his former player’s historic night against the Chicago Blackhawks on December 13, when he recorded a hat trick to become the NHL’s third 800-goal scorer.

“Doesn’t surprise me”, Trotz said, “I’ve seen the big man when he’s got his focus on a goal, he just gets it done, he’s enthused about it. That’s the thing about Ovi, he knows that he’s creating some history but he’s doing it in different ways: his scoring, he’s become a really good leader, which his growth as a young man to a total pro, and he’s legendary now. He’s going to get that mark [Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record of 894 Goals].”

Trotz believes that had it not been for a lockout-shortened season (2012-13), a completely lost season (2004-05), and other factors, the Capitals’ longest-serving captain would have likely reached that hallowed mark prior to this season.

“The thing about him, is he’s played with such physicality you think he’d be hurt more. You think about him, he missed a couple seasons and we had a shortened season, you add another probably 200 games and he’d be there already but he missed that through lockouts and what have you. It’s amazing, he’s gonna get it, I said a long time ago that he was gonna get it and now that he has his sights on it, there’s no question he’s going to get it.”

“He’s doing it different ways”, Trotz said of Ovechkin recording a hat trick to reach 800 goals, “That just tells you how he’s grown, for me. You’ll always remember the shot from the point, there’s times where I used to chuckle, there’s reasons why he can go two minutes over there, he’s standing there, standing there. You’ll watch him and he’ll look like he’s not even interested, because he reads the play really well, and then there’s almost like a spring load, because as soon as he knows that the puck is coming is way, he has a great ability to unleash that, and contort because not every pass is perfect. He gets it on net, he finds a way to not get it blocked. Sometimes he intentionally, when a guy is doing a really good job on him, coming out and really blocking his shots, he’ll put a couple in there to soften him up a bit, and then he’ll really start launching ’em. He’s thought about all those things about goal-scoring and he’s one of those guys who when we’re long gone, he’s going to be legendary.

“It is”, Trotz responded to the continuously-impressive production Ovechkin has sustained as he’s aged, “You think about Ovi when he first came into the league, it was end-to-end rushes and highlight reels and he always had the shot, he always had his spot on the power play. But where he’s grown is he’s getting greasy goals, when he’s tired late in shifts, he’s going to the front of the net. The thing that makes him really pretty effective in the interior now is a) he’s a big beast, strong but remarkably calm because he’s so brave. He’s in a tough area and he’s not worried about someone cross-checking him or trying to run him over. and those hands are exceptional…”

To listen to Trotz talk more on Ovechkin as well as his future in coaching, click HERE.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
This entry was posted in News, NHL, Players, Washington Capitals and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to “Now That He Has His Sights On It, There’s No Question He’s Going to Get It”: Former Capitals Coach Barry Trotz On Alex Ovechkin’s 800th Goal and Climb Up the NHL Record Books

  1. Barry always seemed to “click” with Ovi. He really played a key role I feel in how Ovi perceived his role as captain and on the team when he arrived in 2014.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      He knew how to work with Ovi. Visiting him in the off-season in Russia was a smart move.

      • novafyre says:

        Very smart move. And critical. If I remember correctly, Trotz was viewed as a 99% defense coach and there was a lot of press at his hiring that he wouldn’t know what to do with Ovi. I’m sure Ovi was hearing all that.

  2. novafyre says:

    Trotz guided Ovi from being a Hot Shot to a Team Leader.

  3. hockeydruid says:

    Being a selfish and not understanding the value of Trotz Ted cut his nose off to spite his face and didnt get another cup with Ovie. He could have had 2 maybe 3 with that group but just to cheap. The gutless, clueless Next HC Todd wasnt worth anything including being a paperweight and that is how they ended up with the putz Laviolette who is slowly getting rid of any talent that this team has in the minors. Honestly I think if I was a young player and he was the HC I would relish the chance to go elsewhere to play knowing that no matter what I did in the minors or even in games in the NHL he was going to let me ride the bench or send me to the minors. I know taht Trotz has said that he was taking next year off however I wonder if Ted and the GM and Ovie went to him and asked him to come back and paid him like they should have in the past if he might not come back.

    • KimRB says:

      I was wondering that too. Two questions here:
      1. Does Leonsis care about anything other than the $$$ he’ll be making off of Ovi’s goal chase?
      2. Will Barry hold a grudge?

      If the answers are yes and no, Barry could be back in DC

      • novafyre says:

        I think that Ted leads with his heart. He was told that Ovi would be great for the Caps and should be their #1 draft pick. Ovi has lived up to his part of the deal and Ted feels (quite rightly) that the $1.2 billion evaluation of the Caps (Forbes) is due to Ovi. He owes Ovi. And he is going to do whatever he can to repay that debt. I feel that it is less what future money he will make from Ovi’s chase as the money he has already made from Ovi.

        He also felt that he had a deal with Trotz and Trotz did him wrong. Trotz was probably looking at it as business and Ted took it personally.

        We hear about cold business owners who strip teams, move teams, base all their decisions about income. I just don’t feel that is Ted. He might not be making the best decisions but I don’t feel that it is greed. I feel that previous Caps and Wizards decisions have shown that perhaps he is too personally involved.

        • KimRB says:

          If a sports team owner feels he/she “owes” anybody in their organization anything other than what’s in their contract, then they’re in the wrong business. There are probably a few exceptions, like helping someone Vrana get help with a personal problem, but generally you can’t be sentimental when it comes to a team sport. Peter Pocklington wasn’t. He traded Gretzky, and won another Cup without him.
          This team, with a once in a lifetime player, should have more than 1 Stanley Cup. Leonsis hung onto McPhee for about 4 years too long, but boneheadedly decides to jettison his fresh off a Cup win coach.
          I don’t care if Leonsis does it for the money, because he feels he owes it to Ovi, or if has a $100M bet at Caesars Sports book, the goal chase shouldn’t come before winning. Unless Leonsis puts winning first, he’s in the wrong business.

          • novafyre says:

            I agree with you. Didn’t say Ted was right. This is just my opinion of him and why he is doing the things he is doing.

Leave a Reply