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T.J. Oshie is not happy about the NHL's decision to fine him


T.J. Oshie is not happy about the NHL's decision to fine him

T.J. Oshie has been fined $5,000 for cross checking Pittsburgh's Kris Letang—and the Caps winger is not at all happy about the punishment or the fact that it’s tough for players to distinguish a clean play from one that’s deemed questionable by the league.

“I was very surprised,” Oshie said after Saturday's practice in Arlington. “I looked at it; I got it sent to me. And it’s just…I guess I don’t see what the…I agree it’s a penalty, but I don’t look down and target.”


Here’s the play:

The fine is the maximum allowed under the CBA. It also marks the first time in Oshie’s 10-year NHL career that he’s received supplementary discipline from the league.

Oshie was notified of the fine via a text message from GM Brian MacLellan on Saturday morning.

Oshie said he was told the NHL’s issue with the play is that he appeared to target Letang’s head—a claim he disputes. 

“First of all, I don’t hit his head, so I don’t know what replay or secret camera they had,” he said. “I saw the replays they sent me and, for once, the announcers got it right. I got him in the back of the [trapezius muscle] and the neck.”

He added: “It’s hard to figure out what you’re going to get fined and suspended for and what you’re not.”

Oshie was making reference to the hit San Jose’s Joe Thornton laid on him back on Dec. 4. The hit was late, Thornton’s backside made contact with Oshie’s head and the star winger missed the next six games with a concussion. Thornton did not receive any punishment.

“I don’t want to get my emotions too much into it, but I got a concussion a little over a month ago after I got hit,” Oshie said. “I don’t know what the norm is; you get like .8 seconds or something. I got hit close to four seconds after I had the puck.”


On the play Friday, Oshie said he took exception to Letang throwing a couple of punches at his head.

“Last night Letang got two free shots at my face—one sucker punch [so] I dropped the gloves,” he said. “Apparently he didn’t want to [fight]. And then he got another one in once the ref came in. It’s a little frustrating.”

“Hopefully [the system] changes or we figure out a way to get some consistency,” he continued. “It seems like it depends on who the hitter is, how many games they’ve played and who they play for.”

Coach Barry Trotz didn’t have too much to say about Oshie’s fine or the play that led to it, but you don’t have to read between the lines to figure out what side he comes down on.

Check out the latest episode of Caps Extra on Friday's game against the Penguins!

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.

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NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?


NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

The Hart Trophy is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to their team. With the Caps currently struggling in almost every aspect of the game, consider this: Just where would they be without Alex Ovechkin?

Washington ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per game with 3.05. Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 36. He has scored an incredible 19-percent of his team's goals. No one on the Caps is within 20 goals of the Caps' captain.

That's not a typo. Evgeny Kuznetsov ranks second on the team with 16 goals. No other team in the league has a larger separation between its top two scorers. In fact, only three teams have a difference that's in the double digits: Vancouver (11), San Jose (10) and New Jersey (10).

Ovechkin is almost singlehandedly propping up Washington as a top-ten offense. If you think about just where this offense would be without him, there's a pretty strong case to be made that Ovechkin is as valuable to his team this season as any other player in the league.


Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is fifth among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With a blue line that has featured two rookies the majority of the season, an aging veteran in Brooks Orpik and that had to deal with an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

Few players, if any, are as important to their team's offensive production and therefore its success than Ovechkin has been this season.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!