Gabbi and Lauren Scott grew up watching T.J. Oshie play for the St. Louis Blues and the two sisters did everything possible to get noticed by their favorite hockey player on Thursday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Gabbi, 8, wore a white handmade T-shirt that read: “Navy Kid (Heart)s T.J. Oshie.” Lauren’s red T-shirt read: “Oshie For President.” Both cradled their treasured T.J. Oshie dolls.
Only problem was Oshie was home with the flu (and is expected to miss his first game as a Capital tonight in New Jersey).
“They were so excited to see T.J,” said Anita Scott, who attended a USO (United Service Organizations) open skate at Kettler with her daughters following the Caps’ practice. Anita’s husband, Marc, is stationed at the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River. “We even have a box of Oshie O’s cereal.”
Oshie missed Thursday’s practice with what Caps coach Barry Trotz called a “flu bug.” Trotz said that since Oshie missed practice and the team flew to Newark without him, he did not expect him to play tonight.
“I wouldn’t expect him to play,” Trotz said. “But if he feels better (Friday) maybe we throw him on a plane. Who knows?”
If Oshhie does not play, look for Stan Galiev to play on a fourth line with center Mike Richards and left wing Daniel Winnik.
Acquired in a trade that sent right wing Troy Brouwer, goaltender Pheonix Copley and a third-round pick to the Blues, Oshie has played in all 72 games for the Caps this season and is second on the team with 23 goals and fifth with 45 points. Brouwer, who will make his Washington return on Saturday night, has 15 goals and 16 assists in 74 games for the Blues.
Galiev has not played since March 1. In 19 games this season he has no goals and three assists.
Without Oshie this is how the Caps looked at practice on Thursday:
Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – Justin Williams
Marcus Johansson – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Andre Burakovsky
Jason Chimera – Jay Beagle – Tom Wilson
Daniel Winnik – Mike Richards – Stan Galiev
Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen
Nate Schmidt - John Carlson
Brooks Orpik - Dmitry Orlov
Mike Weber - Taylor Chorney