“Snarls is Great Man, He’s Such An Undercover Beauty”: TJ Oshie Talks Relationship With Dmitry Orlov, Capitals Power Play, and Absences of Key Players

Screencap: Capitals

The Washington Capitals are well underway into their training camp for the 2022-23 season, with one preseason game in the books and another around the corner on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. One member of the team who fans have yet to see take the ice in preseason action is right wing T.J. Oshie, who spoke with the media after practice on Tuesday.

The fan favorite is entering his eighth season in Washington and the fifth year of an eight-year contract signed in the summer of 2017. It is hoped that Oshie, who missed 38 regular season games in 2021-22 mostly due to injury, will be able to stay healthy in the coming campaign.

“I imagine it’ll be one of these next couple”, Oshie said, referring to when he will play his first preseason contest, “Feeling pretty good, I’m probably going to be in two, I would guess.”

The 35-year old expressed his belief that one game would probably be sufficient for him, however, he insists that participating in more than one helps with timing.

“I usually get three in, I think, I usually don’t go over three. There’s so many games during the season, I think one’s all I really personally need to be ready for Game 1, but sometimes it’s nice to get in a couple extra to get in the swing of the routine, and stop and starting in different areas, the systems and all that, I could’ve explained it in August…just the feeling of stopping again and battling in the corners is the biggest thing.”

The Capitals’ power play was among their weaknesses last season and with the offseason additions of Dylan Strome and Connor Brown among the notable offensive additions, the Washington coaching staff has more options to improve the unit’s performance this season.

“Well Stromer’s [Strome] in there, so that’s going to give us a different look automatically”, said Oshie, “Anytime you throw someone else in there, they think a little bit different, their positioning is a little bit different, so we only got a couple reps and we weren’t too sharp after an hour and 20 minutes. But we’ll see more of it tomorrow or the next day, maybe two days from now, and go from there. I’m sure there’s going to be some different things but for the most part our system is set and you can kind of move people in and out, a lot of it depends on how they’re going to cover Ovi [Alex Ovechkin], like it is every night”, he finished.

The Capitals will start the regular season without three of their lineup regulars in Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, and Carl Hagelin, the latter of whom will be out indefinitely, while Backstrom and Wilson are rehabbing from offseason surgeries to their hip and ACL, respectively. All three have stalls adjacent to Oshie in the locker room at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.

“It’s lonely for sure”, said Oshie of the void in the locker room, “You know if someone is just like out sick, and you get your locker partners’ gone for like a day, it’s nice to get a little extra room, but when they’re gone for awhile like me and Nick sit next to each other in there…there’s too much space around you for sure. As much as you like the big locker room, you need your buddy next to you”, he admitted.

Oshie also effused praise for veteran defenseman Dmitry Orlov, who will be entering his 11th season in Washington, and young Center prospect Aliaksei Protas, who impressed in a handful of NHL action last season.

“Snarls is great when you get him one on one”, Oshie said of Orlov, with a smile, “I hear him, I’m pretty sure he’s chirping the other Russians sometimes, I don’t speak Russian but sometimes you hear it going. Snarls is great man, he’s such an undercover beauty, if you will in hockey talk, but love sitting next to him, phenomenal teammate, great locker partner.”

Protas, who stands all of 6’6″ and 225 lbs, made his NHL debut last season and has already left an impression on Oshie. “He’s great, I mean it looks like he got, I don’t want to say bigger, because he’s a big boy”, Oshie remarked, “It looks like he got stronger over the offseason, he’s working hard out here, he looks more comfortable this camp as far as making plays, doesn’t seem very jittery out there, comfortable, it’ll be interesting the guys in his position to try and get a spot on the squad.”

The Capitals take on the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow night at 7:00 PM EST

By Michael Fleetwood


About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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3 Responses to “Snarls is Great Man, He’s Such An Undercover Beauty”: TJ Oshie Talks Relationship With Dmitry Orlov, Capitals Power Play, and Absences of Key Players

  1. Anonymous says:

    Start the “Under Cover Beauty” mech, stat!

  2. Jon Sorensen says:

    “Under Cover Beauty” is “Snarls” new name. Book it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Osh is on it. Screw the preseason, let’s go!

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