New Capitals assistant coach Jim Johnson’s approach is simple.
“I don’t think you’ve really become a coach until you learn to be a teacher,” he said Wednesday. “I’m a guy that really focuses on the details and making sure that I understand the fundamental skill progressions of those details to help these guys get better.”
Johnson on Tuesday replaced Bob Woods as the assistant in charge of the Caps’ defensemen. His style is also simple.
“I’m a real pressure guy. I don’t think you win at this game without pressuring,” Johnson said. “And I’m a guy that really believes you’ve got to play a 200-foot game and it’s a speed game today, and it’s not only your forecheck speed, it’s your backcheck speed, it’s your skating speed, it’s your transition speed and it’s your intellectual speed. I think if you can play a speed game, you can have success.”
Johnson noted that he and coach Dale Hunter “speak the same language of hockey,” and have the same philosophies about the game. What that means is they can be on the same page without having to coordinate too much during games.
“We see the game pretty much the same way – the way the game has got to be played and the way you win at this level,” Johnson said. “That’s what I mean – our forecheck, what we do in the neutral zone, how we play without the puck, some of the things that we do with the puck and how we attack offensively.”