Barry Trotz takes his turn at the Capitals’ hot lap ahead of Game 7
It’s the final gameday for either the Tampa Bay Lightning or Washington Capitals as Game 7 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, live stream) arrives in the 2018 Eastern Conference Final. The Lightning have been here before as this is their third straight conference final that will end with a Game 7. The Capitals, well, their history is well-documented, but they’re feeling good and loose, as evidence by head coach Barry Trotz taking the “hot lap” on Wednesday morning.
A new skater is selected after each road loss and Alex Ovechkin, who uses it to “wake up” his legs, took over the duties in the second round against Pittsburgh. Since the Lightning won Game 5 at AMALIE Arena, it was time for a new skater and the 55-year-old Trotz got involved.
“That came out of nowhere. Obviously, we had to change it. We lost here last time,” said Trotz. “I look at it this way, real simply -- they called my number. At this time of year, you’re all in. So I was ready. I was surprised. I was a little bit worried about the turns because the rudders haven’t been sharpened all year. You didn’t see a lot of crossovers there. I used body mass and weight to dig in. It was a little bit of a slow lap.
“You’re all in. This time of year it’s fun. They call your number. You step up to the plate, you’ve gotta do it.”
That answers any questions about whether the Capitals are feeling nerves ahead of what Ovechkin described as “probably biggest game in my life, this team, organization probably.”