Barry Trotz is making his first stop this season at his old barn on Tuesday as the New York Islanders play the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena.
Trotz will be facing Alex Ovechkin as his famous former pupil is looking to pass Jaromir Jagr for sole possession of third on the NHL’s all-time goals list. Ovechkin has been stuck on goal no. 766 after going scoreless against Edmonton and Vancouver.
🎥 Trotz Pregame Availability 🎥 pic.twitter.com/Kwarn0GrPZ
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 15, 2022
“Every time I seem to come play the Caps, Ovi’s up for another milestone,” Trotz remarked after the Islanders’ morning skate at COA. “I think that’s fantastic. I do wish him all the best, but just not tonight.
“When he passes a milestone, I’ll text him and congratulate him just like I would with Backy or anybody that makes one of these significant milestones. I wish him well. I don’t wish him a whole lot tonight.”
Trotz was then asked why Ovechkin, whom he led to his first and only Stanley Cup championship, has been able to continue being such a dangerous threat on the ice despite being 36.
“The one thing I’ve learned about Ovi is that over my time when you doubt Ovi or you say he can’t do it, he digs in,” Trotz said. “He just digs in. He is just determined. On that, over time, he’s learned to train a little different. It’s pretty amazing.”
Trotz revealed, like Jagr, that he believes Ovechkin will eventually pass Wayne Gretzky’s goals record of 894. He also praised Ovechkin’s legendary durability with a phrase many around these parts will be familiar with.
“I was one of the guys to say that it’s absolutely amazing the greatest goal scorer of all time and will be in my opinion until someone else beats him. But how physical he is and how durable he is. That’s even more incredible to me. It’s not like he goes around quietly and just shoots the puck into the net. He’s running over people. He doesn’t mind contact. He puts himself in dangerous positions.
“As we say, at 36, he’s getting older. You would think some place along the lines he’d break. As he would say, the Russian Machine never breaks.”
Headline photo: Amanda Bowen/RMNB
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