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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