MONTREAL â€” It is a week of milestones for Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz.
The Dauphin, Man., native will coach his 1,400th NHL game on Monday night against the Montreal Canadiens, tying Pat Quinn for eighth place all-time.
And on Wednesday, when the Capitals play host to Pittsburgh, he will tie Ron Wilson for seventh place with 1,401 games coached.
“It just means you’ve been at it a long time,” Trotz said Monday. “But when you start looking at some of the names you used to look up to and all of a sudden you’re there, you sometimes you feel a little out of place because those are the people you grew up watching and helped you along when you were just starting out.
“It feels a little awkward. It just means I’m getting older and have been around a little while, but I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had some good teams and worked with some great management and organizations, as I do now.”
Sixth all-time is the still-active Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues. Hitchcock can pass legendary Canadiens coach Dick Irvin Sr., who coached 1,449 games, later this season while Trotz will have to wait until early in the 2917-18 campaign. Scotty Bowman is the all-time leader with 2,141 games followed by Al Arbour with 1,607.
Trotz said he got to know Quinn when he was scouting in Vancouver before becoming coach of the Nashville Predators in 1998.
“He was always a fun guy to be around and an exceptional person in hockey,” Trotz said of Quinn, a Hall of Fame coach who died in 2014 after a long illness.
The 54-year-old Trotz spent 15 seasons with the Predators before joining the Capitals in 2014.
It could also be a milestone week for Washington star Alexander Ovechkin, who went into the Montreal game four points short of 1,000 in his career.
Trotz said forward T.J. Oshie, injured by a check from Dion Phaneuf in a 1-0 win Saturday in Ottawa, would not play in Montreal and had no word on when he may return.
Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press