Photo credit: Julie Jacobson
For about an hour on Friday night, Curtis Glencross was a playoff hero. His breakaway goal with 10:54 left in the third period looked like it was going to send the Capitals to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time in 17 years.
The Rangers, however, tied the game late. In overtime, Glencross attempted a cross-ice pass to spring Brooks Laich. It was a bad one. The trade deadline acquisition stopped and flipped the puck lazily into the hands of Rangers forward Jesper Fast. Within a few seconds, the game was over. Glencross fell to his knees as the Rangers celebrated their comeback victory.
Speaking to the media after the game, Glencross was shellshocked — and perhaps headed for a benching. But instead, he will play tonight, skating once more with Laich and Tom Wilson on the fourth line as the Caps look to close out the series in game six at Verizon Center.
“Glenny can make a better play,” Trotz told reporters Saturday. “He can make a more deliberate play. He can move. Standing still and trying to make a play is not a good idea in the playoffs.”
When he was hired by the Capitals, Trotz said that his main “weapon” was ice time. If players made mistakes, they would sit. He made true on his promise during the regular season, perhaps to a fault. Good young players like Nate Schmidt and Andre Burakovsky were often pulled from the lineup after a single bad play despite a pattern of overall success. But in the playoffs, and with a veteran like Glencross, Trotz will make no such move. At the end of his press conference this morning, the coach was asked if there would be any lineup changes for game six.
“Nope,” he replied.
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