On Wednesday, Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie spoke to the media following today’s practice. He discussed getting back on the ice after injury and the recent postponements due to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
Oshie suffered an upper-body injury in the 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers on February 4 and missed Sunday’s 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. The 34-year-old was on the ice this morning for practice and said he feeling good. “I feel great…back to normal,” Oshie added. He mentioned the injury was more of a “freak thing” that had happened. “I hated not being out there with the guys, especially when we weren’t able to get the win…I’ll be out there in the next one.”
“I think as a team, it’s good,” Oshie said about not having games in the next several days due to COVID-19 protocol with the Flyers and Buffalo Sabres. The Capitals have some extra time to get players healed up and “back into game shape”. Oshie added, “As a competitive person, it sucks.” He praised the team’s training staff for getting him “back to where he needed to be” and if Tuesday’s game against the Flyers hadn’t been postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests on the Flyers’ roster, Oshie said he would have been able to play.
Despite the postponements, practice will resume. Oshie explained there are some advantages such as the extra conditioning and having guys back to where the lineup will look the same as when the season started. Oshie is hoping to work on systems and line rushes during tomorrow’s practice. “It’s a good time for guys to reset their bodies,” he added.
On playing hockey in the midst of a pandemic, Oshie said, “It’s kind of becoming normal, which is kind of scary to me — same as not having fans in the stands. It’s become normal [and] I hate it…it’s just something we get used to.” He also admitted that the Capitals “got into a little bit of trouble” by breaking protocol in mid-January. “Our team’s been outstanding at following the rules lately. I hope the other teams are too…the best part of our job is playing games and to not be able to do that right now sucks pretty bad.”
By Della Young