On Monday, Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie spoke to the media following morning skate ahead of Game 2 against the Boston Bruins (7:30 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington, and NBCSN). He discussed feeling good to return and playing the center position on Saturday and expressed his gratitude towards the team for wearing the special “Coach” stickers on the back of their helmets in memory of his father Tim “Coach” Oshie, who passed away in early May.
Oshie said he “felt good” during Saturday’s Game 1 after being a game-time decision. He praised his linemates, Tom Wilson and Daniel Sprong, who “made it pretty easy” for him. “It was nice to be back, and obviously nice to be back in the playoffs.”
The 34-year-old right-winger said it was “fine” playing center on Saturday. Oshie has played center and winger multiple times throughout the regular season. “I feel like I know what the responsibilities are for each position,” he said, adding he’s “happy to fill in the hole while we need it.”
Oshie said it “means a lot” for the Capitals to wear special “Coach” stickers on the back of their helmets in memory of his father Tim “Coach” Oshie, who passed away in early May. He explained how Wilson went to him and asked if the team could wear the “Coach” stickers for the postseason run. Oshie was honored and appreciative of the idea.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 5, 2021
The passing of his father is starting to sink in now, according to Oshie. He mentioned he would call his dad on the way to the rink on game days but has been calling his mom as of late. “It’s always in the back of my mind. I’m always thinking about Coach,” Oshie said. “I’m just very lucky I have such a good support system to get through these times.”
Capital One Arena was at 25% capacity during Saturday’s game. Oshie said having even more fans back was “awesome.” Even though it was not at 100% capacity for a regular playoff game, Oshie said the fans were “loud and got the boys going.” “It’s just so great to see them in the stands again…I can’t wait until we get a full building.”
“It put a big smile on my face…those guys are a big part of the team, and we want them back and need them back,” Oshie said on center Evgeny Kuznetsov and goaltender Ilya Samsonov returning to the ice Monday morning. Both players came off of the NHL’s COVIID-19 protocol list over the weekend. He said, “It’s great to see them back in the rink with their smiling faces out there working hard and getting ready to try to get back in.”
By Della Young