On Sunday, Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie spoke to the media from Hotel X in Toronto. He discussed final preparations for Monday’s round-robin opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning and playing with captain Alex Ovechkin.
“I think you gotta be smart with your stick first and foremost,” Oshie said. He explained penalties come from “defensively being lazy” or not moving quick enough. Oshie added the team will have to be “smart” heading into the Monday’s round-robin opener against the Lightning.
“It’s definitely very exciting,” the 33-year-old said about the emotional aspect. Oshie mentioned he does not typically get nervous but after a four-month pause, he is a “little nervous” to get back into action and does not want to make a “big mistake that will cost the team”. “I can’t wait to get out there and play a game for real.”
On Todd Reirden, Oshie said the head coach’s second full year has been “great”. He called Reirden a “very detailed oriented guy”. Reirden lets players “go out there and make their plays” all while staying in the team’s structure.
With a smile, Oshie said he’s seen “more of the same from the great man” in reference to Ovechkin. “It’s been great…getting a front-row seat for me and watching his greatness.” Ovechkin’s game has been taken to another level since the 2018 playoffs and you see it “on the ice, in the locker room, and in his work ethic”, according to Oshie.
It’s been a week since all 24 teams landed in their respective hub cities. Oshie said it still feels like a one-week road trip. He “stepped into the gaming realm during quarantine” so lots of time has been spent on the Xbox. Oshie said the team is “lucky” to FaceTime their families back home. “When we get into meaningful games, it will be a little easier to not focus on how much time we are in here in the hotel.”
By Della Young