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T.J. Oshie breaks down the hit that ended his season

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T.J. Oshie breaks down the hit that ended his season

ARLINGTON, Va. – T.J. Oshie walked out to give his final media availability of the season with his right arm in a sling, a reminder of the hit that ended his season and perhaps ultimately ended the team’s.

Oshie was injured in Game 4 against Carolina as he took a hit to the back from forward Warren Foegele that sent him shoulder first into the boards. The hit injured his right clavicle and Oshie underwent surgery.

You can see a replay of the hit here:

The Capitals were fuming after the game over what they saw as a blatantly dirty hit.

“It was a defenseless player that was quite a distance from the boards,” head coach Todd Reirden said. “It’s an extremely dangerous play.”

“If you think it's not a dirty play, you have to watch it again," Alex Ovechkin said.

Foegele, however, received only a minor penalty for the play and there was no further supplementary discipline.

In his first media availability since suffering the injury, Oshie broke down exactly what happened on the play on Friday.

“Obviously, I wasn’t happy with it,” he said. “Even from a defensive position usually you don’t push someone from behind unless you’re trying to pin him up against the wall because really you’re just creating more space between you. So I thought it was a little unnecessary.”

Many fans took issue with the fact that Oshie did not know Foegele was behind him which made the hit more dangerous. Oshie actually said that was not the case. While the hit was unexpected, it was not because he was not aware there was a player behind him. The hit caught him by surprise because it was unnecessary.

“I do remember kind of seeing his stick behind me,” Oshie said, “And thinking that I had body position on him and I was more so worrying about the defenseman and he just pushed me at the wrong time.”

It was the wrong time for both him and the Capitals.

Oshie’s season would ultimately end with him skating off the ice doubled-over in pain. For a Washington team already missing Michal Kempny,the loss of Oshie proved to be too much. The Caps failed to comeback in Game 4 and would go on to lose two of the next three games fall in the first round.

The injury stunk, but the fact that it did not happen on a regular hockey play on a clean hit made it sting all the more. It happened because he took an unnecessary shot to the back that he was not expecting.

“Anything I say is just going to sound like I’m complaining,” Oshie said, “But you’re never happy to get hurt, you’re never happy when it’s a play like that.”

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      Can Ovechkin really catch Wayne Gretzky?

      Can Ovechkin really catch Wayne Gretzky?

      Alex Ovechkin joined the elite 700 club on Saturday and further cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players to play the game.

      For most, the 700-goal milestone represented the pinnacle of their career. Only seven players before Ovechkin have reached 700 and only two of those players have made it to 800. Reaching 700 goals was more of a lifetime achievement for the other five players, something reflective of the kind of goal-scorer they used to be.

      Ovechkin, however, is different.

      Saturday was a day to celebrate and reflect on a milestone reached only seven times before. But with Ovechkin’s continued goal-scoring prowess and remarkable durability, 700 hardly feels like a journey nearing its end. Instead, it has made the impossible seem reachable. Suddenly, Wayne Gretzky’s record of 894, long thought to be untouchable, seems not only possible for Ovechkin but realistic.

      Ovechkin scored goal No. 700 in career game No. 1,144, the second-fastest in NHL history. Only Gretzky did it faster in just 886 games. Gretzky, however, only had one 40-goal season once he turned 30. He scored 41 goals in 1990-91 at the age of 30 and that would be the last time he would hit that mark.

      Ovechkin is 34. He already has 42 this season and is on pace for 56. If he gets there, it will be the most goals scored by a player over the age of 33 ever.

      Gretzky played nine more seasons after he hit 30 from the 1990-91 season to 1998-99. In that time, he scored 217 goals. Since turning 30, Ovechkin already has 225 goals. It should then come as no surprise that no one has ever gone from 600 to 700 goals faster in history. It took Ovechkin just 154 games to do it. Not only is that the fastest ever, but it’s also faster than he went from 500 to 600 (189 games). In fact, only once has Ovechkin gone from one milestone to the other faster in his career, when he went from 100 to 200 goals in just 129 games.

      Those are the kind of numbers that begin to make you believe that catching Gretzky is a real possibility. What Ovechkin is doing at his age is unprecedented.

      With every goal Ovechkin scores, the math for catching Gretzky becomes more and more realistic. If he continues on his current pace for 56 goals, he will finish the season with 714. If he plays four more seasons, he would need to average 45 goals per season to tie Gretzky. Again, that’s just if he plays four seasons. If he plays five seasons, then he would only need to average 36 goals. Even with a moderate drop off, a 36-goal average hardly seems outside of the realm of possibility for the Great 8.

      At 34 years old, Ovechkin is still the best goal scorer in the game and is showing no signs of slowing down. Gretzky’s record does not seem impossible for him to reach because Ovechkin is already doing the impossible.

      Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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      Alex Ovechkin on goal 700: 'Without my teammates I couldn't do it.'

      Alex Ovechkin on goal 700: 'Without my teammates I couldn't do it.'

      While scoring goals can often be looked at as an individual achievement, Alex Ovechkin made sure to credit his teammates for the success he's had as one of the all-time best goal scorers in NHL history.

      "All of my teammates over the years have treated me like family," Ovechkin said while reflecting on goal 700. "Without them, I would never be able to reach this milestone." 

      Ovi finally eclipsed the 700 goal mark in the Capitals' 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday afternoon.

      "Seven hundred means a lot to me," Ovechkin said. "Not a lot of players have done it in the history of the game so it's nice to be in that company." 

      Ovechkin was certainly grateful for the achievement, but the fact of the matter is that this Capitals team has dropped eight of their last 11 games. An ecstatic Ovi is the one who wins games, not just scores goals. 

      Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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