Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie has been a member of the team for just over three years and in that time, he has entrenched himself as one of the team’s fan favorites and has been one of the key offensive entities in the team’s success over the last five seasons. But the soon-to-be 32-year old forward has experienced his fair shares of injuries (specifically concussions) over the last two seasons. But while his offensive production has continued to be consistent during that span, it’s his resiliency in returning from those injuries that mean just as much to the team.
Oshie’s struggles with concussions are something that both team and player have taken extreme caution with (as one should with head injuries), and every time he returns, he continues to bring the relentless work ethic and dogged style of play that has endeared him to the Washington fan base. A few seasons ago, NoVa Caps published this piece on why Oshie was the heart and soul of the Capitals, a major reason why the team handed him an eight-year, $46 million deal after the 2016-17 season. And while he has missed substantial time as a result of his rash of injuries, the heart and soul sentiment still stands true.
Oshie’s teammates have lauded him for his aforementioned work ethic and his determination to play his best upon return from injury certainly sets an example for the rest of the team (particularly struggling young players like Andre Burakovsky), and one can’t help but think the morale of the team receives a boost when one of the team’s top players gives 100%.
Through 21 games played this season, Oshie has 10 goals and five assists, putting him on pace for over 30 goals and 50 points, a sign the offensive production has continued despite his rash of concussions. What’s also there is the same positive attitude that has helped him become one of the team’s most valued and important leaders, and one of its most beloved off-ice personalities. Offense is crucial when it comes to Oshie, but the person and character he is, is also just as important.
By Michael Fleetwood