Barry Trotz loves slogans and inspirational phrases. The locker room at Verizon Center is filled with them, including some that take up five lines. Last year’s team motto of “Feed the Right Wolf” didn’t quite get the Capitals pumped up enough to win a Stanley Cup. Refreshingly, though, Trotz didn’t seek massive changes after that loss. He knows the Capitals are a good team that could win a championship. That’s why this year’s slogan is “Stick to the Script,” a brainchild of Caps video coach Brett Leonhardt.
“For us to come in this year and say, ‘Okay, it didn’t work last year, we didn’t win the Stanley Cup, so let’s go in a different path,’ that’s absolutely the wrong thing,” Trotz told The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg. “I can see the horizon. I know where I’m going. And because I see the horizon and I didn’t get there last year, I’m going to turn left?”
To drill the idea into the players, Trotz had them watch a short video written by Leonhardt and narrated by former Capital Mike Knuble. On Saturday night before the season opener at Verizon Center, that video was revealed to roaring fans.
Here’s the full transcript:
Gentleman, another hockey season is upon you. Another 82 regular season games. Another season full of adversity, challenges, battles, and teamwork. Over the course of the next nine months, every single guy in this room will play an intricate part and an important role on a team striving to achieve the ultimate goal: winning the Stanley Cup. Take a look around. The men you brush shoulders with now in this room are the reason you do a little extra in the weight room, the reason you block a shot late in the game, and the reason you take a hit to make that play. You are all the best in the world at what you do and together the 2015-16 season holds no limits. The year ahead will be full of highs and lows. Moments of question and moments of doubt. These are the moments where champions are made. So what will you do? Stick to what got you here. Stick with trusting what you’ve worked on everyday for your entire life. But most importantly: stick together.
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