Barry Trotz on Vitek Vanecek’s first career win: We were as happy for him as if we were still on the Capitals coaching staff
It took five seasons toiling in the minor leagues, but Vitek Vanecek earned his first NHL start on January 15, 2021 in a back-to-back against the Buffalo Sabres. The Czech goaltender was spectacular during the game, stopping 30 of 31 shots to earn his first career victory. “The dream came true,” Vanecek remarked afterward. In the Zoom room, he got a shaving cream pie to the face from Tom Wilson.
While Vanecek’s teammates in Washington and Hershey were especially proud in the moment, so were three old friends on Long Island: Islanders head coach Barry Trotz, assistant Lane Lambert, and goaltending coach Mitch Korn.
All three coaches worked very closely with Vanecek in Washington from 2014 until they departed for the Islanders in the summer of 2018.