WASHINGTON — While the Washington Capitals boast NHL gems such as Alexander Ovechkin, Braden Holtby and Nicklas Backstrom, coach Barry Trotz suggests the key to the team’s success this season is its broad range of players, that extends well into the lineup.
He says one of most important factors is the group of young players.
“It’s because our young guys developed,” Trotz said. “It’s (Andre) Burakovsky, (Evgeny) Kuznetsov, (Tom) Wilson; they’re all playing higher (in the lineup). I think our team, by all of them playing higher and playing more, our team speed is higher. And the back end is going with Schmidt and Orlov, who didn’t play last year.”
Burakovsky, 21, has 12 goals and 16 assists; 23-year-old Kuznetsov has 18 goals and 44 assists, and 21-year-old Wilson has five goals and 14 assists, as well as 180 hits.
The other factor that doesn’t get quite as much credit is the ability of the fourth line, specifically Brooks Laich, Mike Richards and Jay Beagle. “They can play…