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Trotz raves about ‘very coachable’ Ovechkin

Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 09: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals controls the puck in the second period of game against the Montreal Canadiens in the Capitals season opener at Verizon Center on October 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

It’s almost tempting to say that Alex Ovechkin is “back,” even if such a notion is kind of odd considering the fact that he scored 51 goals last season.

Maybe it’s more accurate to say that the positive energy surrounding the 29-year-old forward is returning, then? After witnessing Ovechkin’s second-consecutive multi-point game (three points last night, two goals on Saturday), Barry Trotz seemed impressed with Washington’s captain. As he noted to USA Today, it’s about the complete picture, not just his offense.

“For all of the questions I took when I got this job, right through the summer and training camp, I have to be honest and say I wasn’t too sure what was going to happen,” Trotz said. “But he has been very coachable, and he’s been excellent as a captain and a person.”

” ... All of the things that were said about him have been the exact opposite.”

While Trotz is working with Ovechkin on his defensive game, perhaps the wisest thing he’s doing is simply staying out of the Russian star’s way, for the most part.

After being asked to limit his game under Dale Hunter and moved to right wing by Adam Oates, the plan seems to revolve around keeping him at his more comfortable LW spot and asking him to merely make tweaks (rather than wholesale changes) to the way he plays.

The Capitals have been solid so far, managing four out of a possible six points thanks to one win and two shootout losses, with Ovechkin having a hand in five of Washington’s 10 goals.

After facing questions about how he’d “fix” Ovechkin, getting the most out of his teammates may be the real test for Trotz.

(H/T to Japers Rink.)

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins