Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie met with the media as part of the team’s opening day of training camp on Thursday. Oshie said he feels good and is “ready to rock.”, but didn’t participate in the team’s traditional opening day skate tests.
The Capitals notified the media Thursday morning that Oshie had a procedure done during the off-season, and would not be participating in the skate tests. However, they said he would be ready to for practice on Friday.
“It was just a core procedure that needed to get done. Happened at the end of March. Something that I played through. Got it done, I think, two or three weeks after the season ended. We’re almost kinda back to full. Didn’t do the skate test today, just didn’t want to get too sore for the practices, playing the real hockey.”
Oshie indicated there was no question he will be ready for opening night.“I’ll be on the ice tomorrow, on a line and ready to rock.”
Oshie said didn’t do much skating or conditioning over the off-season, but began to ramp-up when he returned to the team’s informal skates a few weeks ago.
“I didn’t really skate too much, like full ice, and kinda full length strides and everything until I got here. The last two weeks I’ve been skating pretty hard, doing my own kind of extra skates, away from what the guys were doing, at the end of skates, for conditioning. It’s feeling better and better.”
The first day of training camp had three sizable absences, including Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and Carl Hagelin. Oshie said they simply can be replaced.
“You can’t replace 19 or 43, just not going to be able to do it. We’re gonna miss ’em, definitely. They both look like they’re in as good of shape as they can be, in their stages of recovery. That’s super good to see.”
However, Oshie said the addition of the new players can have a tendency to re-energize a team.
“The new group, it’s exciting. You know you always miss the guys that are gone and the guys that aren’t here, but sometimes when you get four or five new faces, it kind of feels a little fresh, after not having the success that we’ve wanted to have for a couple of years in a row. I’m excited to see them kinda mesh, with what line they’re gonna fall on. What d-pairing they’re gonna fall on. How the goalie tandem is gonna do back there.”
Oshie said the new guys have adapted and integrated well so far, off the ice.
“They all seem like super great guys, they jumped on board for the fantasy football league, and came out golfing with us. They’re great guys and they fit in really well, so it’s gonna be fun to bring that chemstry that we already got off the ice, on to the ice.”
By Jon Sorensen