T.J. Oshie sure picked a fine time to enjoy the best year of his career.
He knows it.
And his teammates know it, too.
“It’s huge, especially in the last year of his deal,” captain Alex Ovechkin cracked after Tuesday’s 4-2 win over the Flames. “It’s ka-ching.”
Indeed, Oshie’s gonna get paid this summer, whether it’s in Washington or elsewhere.
As for the here and now, though, no one on the Caps is scoring goals at a rate close to Oshie's.
The 30-year-old winger scored again Tuesday, upping his season total to 30. That’s the most on the Caps and four more than he scored last year, his previous career-high.
“Obviously happy for Osh [who] get first time 30 goals,” said Ovechkin, who set up Oshie’s tally with a slick pass. “Good for him and good for us.”
How good has Oshie been this season? Consider:
- He’s the first player other than Ovechkin to score 30 goals in a season for the Caps since 2009-10, when Alexander Semin notched 40 and Nicklas Backstrom potted 33.
- Oshie has 15 points in his last 14 games (10 goals and five assists).
- Since Dec. 31, Oshie has 20 goals. That’s six more than any of his teammates. And, oh yeah, he missed six games during that span.
Prior to joining the Caps, Oshie topped the 20-goal plateau just once in seven seasons with the Blues.
“Osh has found the ability to score a little bit more than the last couple of years,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “Every year he’s gotten better and better in terms of his offense, in terms of his goal scoring. When he first got here, I put him with Ovi and Backy and all he wanted to do was give the puck to Ovi and Backy.”
He doesn’t defer anymore, however. And part of the reason for that, Trotz said, is because they have a mutual respect for each other’s ability
“All three guys know they are terrific players,” Trotz said. “They can make things happen. They’ve been good.”
Trotz added: “All three of them are working together. They are making plays. They don’t spend a lot of time in their own zone. They’re responsible defensively. They've got a real good hound mentality around the puck and they're keeping pucks alive. And when they keep pucks alive, they create offense.”
Indeed, over the past four games (3-0-1), Ovechkin, Backstrom and Oshie have combined for six goals and 15 assists.
“It’s clicking right now very well,” Ovechkin said. “I hope it’s going to click in the most important time—the playoffs. Backy is feeling it. Osh is feeling it.”
And soon Oshie is gonna be raking it in, too.
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