Full article: http://www.thehockey...oaches-say-yes/
This is an article about Ovechkin. At the end, there is a bit about Trotz "fixing" Ovechkin. He notes Scotty Bowman turning Yzerman from a pure-offensive guy into a two-way player. Trotz wants to do the same to Ovechkin.
HOW CAN BARRY TROTZ FIX HIM? (Ovechkin)
Washington fired Oates and GM George McPhee, but owner Ted Leonsis’ intent was not to blow up the franchise. He’s reloading with Trotz and wants to keep building around Ovechkin.
“If I said to you, ‘Hey, I know how to fix him, 100 percent,’ I would probably be lying,” Trotz says. “I have an idea of how I would go about trying, and I believe in that method, and there has to be a little bit of a give and take on both sides.”
How will Trotz, known for hardworking, stingy teams during his 15-year run with the Nashville Predators, get through to Ovechkin, for whom the ice is permanently tilted toward the opposing goal?
Two words: Steve Yzerman.
Trotz cites the Hall of Fame pivot as proof that a pure offensive weapon can be transitioned into a two-way monster. Remember Yzerman’s early relationship with Scotty Bowman in Detroit? When Bowman called him out for not paying attention to defense, and Yzerman surfaced in trade rumors? Us neither. Yzerman responded so well that it’s easy to forget he wasn’t always known for two-way play. In Trotz’s eyes, that means Ovechkin isn’t a lost cause.
“Yzerman gave some of himself up on the offensive side of the puck to become a top talent on both sides of the puck, and they started winning championships,” Trotz says.
At the same time, Ovechkin will never be Yzerman. That’s not an insult. The two players have different strengths, and while Ovie can become more diligent in defensive zone coverage, he’s best used as an offensive weapon.
“He got 51 goals last year, and I’d love for him to get 52,” Trotz says. “But not at the expense of the other side of the puck.”
Trotz is as optimistic as any new coach should be and, if the testimony of people from Ovechkin’s past is to be believed, there may just be a special bond in the making here. Boudreau and Hanlon have incentive to pull punches, but Ovechkin’s retired teammates don’t, so it’s telling that they’re so supportive. Now, it’s Ovie’s turn to reward their faith and transition from boy to man in the NHL.
“I can reassure Barry that Alex is a great person that enjoys hockey and is driven to win the Cup,” Hanlon says. “Anything less will not satisfy him. He is one of the most enjoyable players I have coached. Form your own opinions on what you see on the ice. Any other opinions mean nothing.”
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