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The Narrative: Jack Trotz, Offside(?) and Hyperbole

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Three things we're talking about today when we're talking about the Caps

Photo by John McDonnell / The Washington Post via Getty Images

1. For the third time in his 17 years behind an NHL benchBarry Trotz has been named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the coach "adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success."

And this seems pretty apropos:

That's all well and good (well-deserved and good on voters for recognizing the job he's done), but Trotz is currently facing perhaps the biggest coaching challenge of his career: digging out of a 3-1 hole against a terrific Pittsburgh club.

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2. Speaking of Trotz, there was some question as to why he didn't challenge the Penguins' second goal in Game 4, given that Matt Cullen appeared to be clearly in the zone ahead of the puck:

Cullen1

Wow, right?

Wrong. It's an optical illusion from that angle, as the puck's in the air. Take a look from a second angle:

Cullen2

The ever-astute Mike Vogel asked Trotz about that post-game and here's what the coach said:

Replays showed that Cullen may have been offside on the play, but the Caps didn’t see it that way and elected not to challenge the call on the ice.

"Our staff that was looking at that told us that it was a good goal," says Trotz. "So there was no sense in wasting our timeout in challenging something that was a good goal."

As is usually the case, they got it right (and under extreme time constraints, no less). No controversy here. Move along.

Here's the full highlight, if you want to take a look at the moving pictures for yourself:

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3. Should the Caps be unable to pull off a highly unlikely comeback in this series, it will be a disappointing end to a promising season. But let's pump the brakes on what narrow defeat to a team that has been better than them in calendar year 2016 really means. First, of course, there was this after one loss in the first round... which narrowed the Caps' lead in the series to 3-2:

Now this kind of stuff:

Look, we all know that hyperbole is the single greatest thing ever. But not every loss is a collapse or a choke. Sometimes the coin comes up heads four times before it comes up tails four times, especially in hockey.