Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
While the 2017-18 season was certainly one to remember for the Capitals as a team, on an individual level, it was unquestionably a struggle for right wing T.J. Oshie, who entered the season fresh off a new eight-year, $46 million contract. While Oshie’s always-present effort was on full display, injuries and uncharacteristically inconsistent production dropped Oshie’s 2016-17 offensive totals (33 goals, 23 assists) to abnormal lows (18 goals, 29 assists). That said, Oshie’s start to the 2018-19 season indicates the popular right wing is due for a bounce-back season.
Through the first two games of the 2018-19 season, the 31-year old sharpshooter is off to a high-flying offensive start, having already recorded five points (three goals, two assists), with a plus-3 rating, all while averaging 17:54 of ice time a night under Head Coach Todd Reirden. While the season (for the Caps) is just two games old, it is encouraging to see that Oshie has maintained the rapport with linemates Nicklas Backstrom and Jakub Vrana from last season, something that bodes well for the Capitals as a whole this season.
As it is still early in the season, the one concern that is still a possibility (as it always always with any player) is the potential for injury. Last season, Oshie missed eight games of action, mostly due to recurring concussion issues. Concussions have been a problem for Oshie throughout his career, and as he always ages, it will become even more of a concern. If Oshie can avoid injury this season, and can continue producing at his current rate, he will be well on his way to a successful, bounce-back season.
By Michael Fleetwood