T.J. Oshie: Finding His Way In Washington

Posted December 20, 2015

T.J. Oshie always had a great reputation in the NHL. The 28-year-old right winger was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in 2007. He played there until 2015 prior to being traded to the Caps for Troy Brouwer, goal tender Pheonix Copley, and a third round draft pick in the 2016 NHL draft.

“T.J. is an outstanding skater with a tremendous skill set,” said Caps senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan at the time of the trade. “He is a powerful player and has consistent track record of production throughout his career in the NHL. We feel that he complements our core group nicely and can help us get to the next level in achieving our ultimate goal.”

Oshie is finding his footing in Washington. He is thrilled with the team, he is thrilled with the fans and his performance on the ice has been nothing short of… well… thrilling. And last Thursday was no exception when the Caps fought back after being down 0-3 to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in a dramatic comeback, 5-3. Oshie contributed 2 goals and 2 assists, and he had a lot to say after the game.

“We thought about playing a little bit more heavy,” said Oshie about the team’s locker room chat before their explosive third period. “For the most part, we’re a little bit bigger than they are but they were winning puck battles. But hockey is a huge momentum game. I thought we did a good job in the first even though they had a goal, in the second they took over, and in the third the momentum shifted quickly to our favor and we took it to them.”

Oshie continued describing the atmosphere in the locker room. “It was so poised here. We’ve been in this situation a couple of times and everyone was positive. I don’t know if we’ve ever been down by 3 before and come back and won, but the leadership in here and the positive energy feeds us and feeds our play on the ice.”

The Ovechkin-Backstrom-Oshie line is really starting to gel, and that can be tough when a new player is thrust into the mix with two of the best the NHL has to offer.

“Me, Ovi and Backy talk a lot about what we want to do, where we want to be from shift to shift. All that talking has lead to more and more chemistry and more and more offense,” said Oshie.

As in any sporting event, the fans can play a big part in the outcome of a game. He spoke sincerely about the fans at Verizon Center.

“The ‘Unleash the Fury’ video is hilarious, I think. Let’s get that out of way right now,” he laughed. “The fans have been great all year. That 3rd period was the loudest I’ve heard them all year. You hear them chant ‘Ovi’, our leader, and he really stepped up for us and got everyone going. A crowd can really pick up your spirits; get you going, when you can’t find your way.”

Don’t worry, Osh, Caps fans will always have your back.  Let’s Go Oshie! Let’s Go Fans! Let’s Go Caps!