Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA Today Sports
There is no denying that since being acquired from the St. Louis Blues over three years ago, right wing T.J. Oshie has been one of the Capitals’ most valuable and productive players. Slotting in the Top 6 forward group, Oshie has recorded 154 points (77 goals and assists) in 222 games played in a Capitals sweater. However, the 2017-18 season was a difficult one for the 31-year old, as he was hampered by injury and uncharacteristic offensive slumps, missing a total of eight games, while falling short of the 33 goals he scored the season prior. While he rebounded to finish with 47 points in 74 games played, a full season from Oshie will be beneficial for both player and team.
Over the past two seasons, Oshie has missed a total of 22 games due to injury, and while he has been relatively durable throughout his time in Washington, as he ages injury (particularly concussions) will become more of a concern. When healthy, Oshie has been one of the Caps’ most reliable and consistent offensive players, averaging 26 goals, 26 assists, and 52 points over his first three regular seasons in D.C. (or 0.35 goals, 0.35 assists, and 0.69 points per game), and six goals, eight assists, and 14 points in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
While the Capitals have been able to pull through Oshie’s absence, there is no question they are better with him than without him. During their run to the franchise’s first-ever Stanley Cup, Oshie recorded 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 24 games, ranking fourth on the team in points and third in goals. After dealing with the aforementioned concussions in the early part of the season (during which he struggled with production and maintaining a confident attitude), Oshie’s finish to the 2017-18 season is a promising sign that he will be able to start the 2018-19 season strong.
With a full offseason of rest (and some time with the Stanley Cup), Oshie should be fully healthy to begin a season in which the Capitals will be returning the majority of their Cup-winning roster, which is not only a good thing for Oshie himself, but for the Capitals as they look to defend their title as Champions.
By Michael Fleetwood