No contract, no problem: Trotz guides Caps into Cup final

5/25/2018 2:06:53 PM

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) One of the lasting images from the Capitals" playoff run came the morning of Game 7 in the Eastern Conference final.

Usually Alex Ovechkin hustles around the rink in a hot lap prior to the morning skate. Only this time it was 55-year-old coach Barry Trotz, who answered the call from his players to do the lap.

""I was worried about the turns,"" Trotz said. ""The rudders haven"t been sharpened all year. ... I almost bit it at the end there trying to imitate Ovi.""

The Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 that night to punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final, but they might"ve won Game 7 at that moment. Rarely in previous postseasons had Trotz been that relaxed, the result of an unusual situation.

Trotz went into the season without - and st