One of the interesting dynamics of a tournament like the World Cup of Hockey is seeing different players and coaches come together on new teams. Teammates become opponents and opponents become teammates. That was the case for Barry Trotz as he joined the coaching staff of a Canadian team led by captain Sidney Crosby.
Crosby is of course the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team that ended the Caps' Presidents' Trophy winning season in the second round. It was the second time the Caps had to watch Crosby hoist the Stanley Cup after losing to him in the playoffs.
But Trotz had nothing but good things to say about Crosby upon his return to Washington after the World Cup.
"There’s a reason that Sidney Crosby is considered the best player on the planet," Trotz said. "He showed that in this tournament, that he was the best player."
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It's hard to argue with that assessment given that Crosby led all players in the tournament with 10 points in just six games. But it was what Crosby did off the ice that impressed Trotz the most.
"My son was in for a day," Trotz said, "Just sitting there playing an iPad and Sid went down and sat with him and played on the iPad for a minute with him and stuff like that. He didn’t have to do that. He just did. I’ve got a lot of respect for guys like that."
While they may have been a part of the same team for the World Cup, however, that doesn't mean Trotz wasn't also scouting Crosby.
As the defending Cup champions, the road to the East likely runs through Pittsburgh. If the Caps hope to finally overcome the playoff hurdle, they will have to beat the Penguins.
So did Trotz learn any secrets on how to beat Crosby?
“I don’t know if it’s secrets," he said. "It’s a real awareness of what he really can do and what you don’t want him to do. So you try to find ways for him to not do what he does."
As the Caps have learned, that's easier said than done.
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