Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
There's a lot more to coaching hockey than drawing up plays on a dry erase board.
A coach needs to connect with his players. Earn their respect. Gain their trust.
For Adam Oates, there is one player whose trust and respect are more important than anyone else on the team, and that is Alex Ovechkin.
According to Katie Carrera of The Washington Post, Oates has earned the trust and respect of the team captain:
He’s that kind of person who give me belief all the time. Sometimes I have a bad game, I talk to him and he said, ‘It’s okay. Chance is there. It’s going to come.’ After [Thursday’s 3-2 loss to New Jersey] I have two breakaways and I text him. I said ‘Listen, I don’t know. Puck just don’t wanna, don’t go through.’ And he texts me back says, ‘It’s going to come.’ For a player, if you feel that kind of trust from a coach, coaching staff, it’s very important.
The Capitals are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. But with a coach who has the trust and respect of the team captain, the rest of the team may be willing to follow these two men on the journey into the postseason.