Caps fans got to see T.J. Oshie don the Caps' red for the first time on Monday night and he showed flashes of the skill that made fans so excited when he was first acquired in the offseason. He also got his first taste of playing alongside superstar Alex Ovechkin.
"It's amazing how much the other team has to adjust to cover him and it gives you a little bit more space and time with the puck so I wasn't really used to that," Oshie said.
Even on a team with all the offensive firepower of the St. Louis Blues, Oshie has never played with a player that defenses have to account for as much as Ovechkin. That should open up space for Oshie offensively, it's just a matter of taking advantage of that space.
"I think in the first period I was little too focused on getting the puck and trying to get it to those guys and getting the puck in their hands," Oshie said. "The second and third I just tried to play my game, play simple, find the open pass and make it or shoot it."
Oshie is not the first teammate to defer too much to Ovechkin. Finding a right wing for the top line has been a challenge for the Caps not because they have lacked for talent, but because finding someone to compliment Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom has proven difficult. The major criticism of a player Marcus Johansson when he was on the top line was exactly what Oshie described, far too often he clearly wanted to get the puck to one of his superstar linemates rather than take advantage of the space the defense was yielding to him.
It's an adjustment Oshie will have to make and one he seemed to handle better as the game went on.
"I think in the second and third I just tried to stick to the basics and it worked out better for us."
To hear what else Oshie had to say following Tuesday's preseason win, watch the video above.