NEW YORK -- When Barry Trotz was hired as coach of the Capitals two summers ago, one of the first things he wanted to establish with his team was what he called a “pack mentality.”
That mentality manifested itself 8:33 into the second period of the Caps’ wild 7-3 win over the New York Rangers Sunday night during an altercation in Braden Holtby’s goal crease.
After a first period in which the Rangers were allowed entry into Holtby’s crease without so much as a stick tap, Holtby took matters into his own hands when he got into a little tussle with Rangers leading scorer Mats Zuccarello.
Rangers irritant Tanner Glass decided that was a good time to give Holtby a punch to the chest and that was enough to awaken Caps right wing Tom Wilson, who had been scrapping with Glass all game. Wilson made a bee-line toward Glass, who had already been confronted by Nate Schmidt, and the two combatants tugged and pulled at each other enough to get double roughing minors.
“There’s no doubt ever that Willy is going to be there for his teammates,” Holtby said. “He’s one of the best teammates in the world. We’re very fortunate to have him on our side.
“That’s the beauty of good teams. We get along very well and it shows on the ice. It comes automatically and Tom is one of the ones that lead that.”