The Washington Capitals are a superstitious bunch and Sunday they continued a tradition that Jay Beagle started, Alex Ovechkin stole, and head coach Barry Trotz has now inherited.
With no morning skate before Game One on Monday, Coach Trotz took his hot lap today.
It was tremendous.
RMNB’s Chris Gordon got video, which includes his celebration at the end
NBC Sports Washington captured the noise from the bench well. The boys were pumped!
🔥HOT LAP‼️ pic.twitter.com/GCvO29ykIw
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) May 27, 2018
The hot lap is silly, but it now has a universe-balancing significance with this Capitals team.
“Well, I was like the last guy out there today,” Trotz said. “So all of a sudden, it got quiet, and as I was coming up sort of the tunnel, I didn’t see anybody skating. And then all these big smiles of about 30 people with these smirks on their face, I knew I was committed to it. Just like I’ve said to the players, this time of year, if your number gets called, you’ve got to be ready for it.
“So I didn’t even have to — I knew right away,” Trotz continued. “They just all smiled, and I said, okay, I’ve got it. I was just trying to get a couple pucks out of the way so I didn’t go crashing into the board. I made it around, and what was my time? Was it better? It felt better, I can tell you that.”
Ovechkin first took Jay Beagle’s routine ahead of Game Six against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Capitals eliminated the Pens that night so Ovechkin kept doing it. The Capitals’ winning ways continued during the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final in Tampa Bay. That streak ended during Game Five so Barry Trotz took the lap ahead of Game Seven against the Lightning. That night, the Caps became Eastern Conference Champions for the first time in two decades and the first time in the Alex Ovechkin Era.
“We had to change. We lost here last time,” Trotz said that day. “I look at it real simply: They called my number. At this time of year, you’re all-in. I was ready.”
Trotz’s lap last week saw him almost wipe out.
“I almost bit it at the end there trying to imitate Ovi,” Trotz said. “I was worried about the turns. The rudders haven’t been sharpened all year. So you didn’t see a lot of crossovers there. I used body mass and weight. It was a bit of a slow lap, but you’re all-in. They call your number, you step up to the plate, gotta do it. Obviously, we’re pretty loose.”
Trotz had no such problems today, raising his arms in celebration when he was done.
Perhaps this fun Capitals bunch will do the same Monday night. Washington has won eight out of 10 road games during their run to the Stanley Cup Final.
Headline photo: @NBCSCapitals
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