Trotz Back in the Nash: 90-Second Tribute, 0 Points
So, you can go home again.
Mainly, if you're Barry Trotz, because that's what the schedule tells you to do.
And last night, the schedule plopped his Washington Capitals into the heart of Tennessee, where he'd face the only NHL team he'd previously ever known as a coach.
For 15 years, Trotz was Nashville hockey, the only constant in an area where the game wasn't quite as natural as the music scene there. Eventually, as he built up the Predators' on-ice credibility, expectations predictably grew, which became an inevitable formula for change.
And so, last night had intriguing story lines. Trotz was returning to Music City with a rejuvenated Washington Capitals outfit that has rediscovered winning ways to face the Preds, who have indeed taken the proverbial next step.
The home team did its part to make it a special moment for Trotz -- and his former assistants with Nashville -- as did the fans:
Dude was visibly moved, and who could blame him?
But on this night, the team for which Trotz set the stage had the edge on the team Trotz was currently molding:
The Caps are in a tight race themselves and will now have to pick up an unexpected point somewhere else to atone for that defensive collapse in the final throes.
But that's for later. For now, Trotz could still take some solace from the night's proceedings.
Trotz can take solace in the fact that he may be gone, but he's not forgotten.