Fehr praised Alex Ovechkin at length, calling him “a great leader” who is “really well liked” inside the Caps dressing room, but he had a telling response when asked about the team’s defensive shift last season.
“They were definitely trying to buy in,” he said of his teammates. “I know for the Russian players, defense is not always the first thing on their mind, but it was definitely something we worked on last year, and I think it showed in the goals-against that the team had. It’s definitely a different style of play for those guys.”
Fehr was also asked how Bruce Boudreau had changed during the move from Hershey to the big time.
“He definitely had to change his style a little bit in the National Hockey League, coaching these real high-end players, high-end talents,” Fehr said. “It’s a bit of a different approach, I think. He changed the way he coached a little bit moving up to the higher level.”
“[NHL players] definitely have to like you, I think that’s one of the main things. And you want to try to make it so the players are wanting to play for you, so it’s really a fine line between making sure they’re working their hardest and trying to keep them happy. It’s probably one of the most difficult jobs in the world, I think, to work with some of these star players.”
Interesting comments from Eric Fehr(re: Russian players and coaching).
Kind of applies to the Sens (Filatov and Clouston the past 2+ years).