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T.J. Oshie talks new house, new wife, new team

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T.J. Oshie talks new house, new wife, new team

Aside from selling a house, building a house, finding a house, redeeming himself on the golf course, getting married and mending the hearts of 5-year-old girls, Timothy Leif Oshie hasn’t had much excitement this summer.

On Saturday, the Capitals’ newly acquired 28-year-old right wing introduced himself to more than 2,500 fans at the club’s annual Fan Fest at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Next weekend he will try to erase the memories of four-putting from seven feet away in last year’s American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe.

The week after that he will tie the knot with University of North Dakota sweetheart Lauren Cosgrove.

We’ll let Oshie fill you in on the rest:

On learning he had been traded from the St. Louis Blues for Troy Brouwer, Pheonix Copley and a third-round draft pick:

It was a little surreal. There’s been excitement since those first couple hours. We went to St. Louis for a couple days and tried to pack up the house as quick as we could. We flew back to Minnesota, then flew out here. It’s been pretty busy, but now that I’m here it’s great to be here. I’m excited. I met a lot of people in the organization, texted with some of the players, so it’s been very welcoming here.

On what he remembers about facing the Capitals:

This team is ready to win, it looks like. I’m happy to be an addition to that and be a piece of the puzzle. Meeting the coaching staff, I’m very excited. They actually got me fired up. I’m hoping the season would start a little early talking to them yesterday. It’s really exciting for me right now.

On switching his jersey from No. 74, which belongs to John Carlson, to No. 77:

Carly actually texted me and asked me what number I was going to be choosing. I think I’ve played a couple more games (443) than him (398). I took his number at the Olympics, so I figured he could keep it here. I wore 7 in college. My daughter was born on the 17th and I thought that would be an option, but I went with 77.

On seeing so many fans wanting his autograph:

Just from looking at Twitter, fans have been very welcoming, just adding to the excitement for me to be here. I was always supported very well in St. Louis and it looks like Washington is doing the same.

On seeing the video of 5-year-old Libby Lu crying over his departure from St. Louis:

I actually saw a couple different ones, so when (ESPN) approached me, right away I didn’t know which little girl it was. You kind of get sad looking at that and thinking about the past seven years in St. Louis and things that I’ve accomplished, but I’m looking forward to a new chapter and hopefully Libby can transfer over and become a Caps fan.

On the similarities of the Blues and Capitals’ quest for an elusive Stanley Cup:

I don’t think I’ve been in town for too long, so I’m not sure what the feeling is here. I know in St. Louis the fans are getting a little restless and I’m sure the fans here want a Cup just as bad. Hopefully, this will be the year we can bring it to them.

On his first impressions of Barry Trotz:

It’s been great. He obviously loves the game. You can tell that he loves his team, loves his players, loves his coaches. It’s going to be great to play for him and I’m excited to build that relationship.

On how his experience in the 2014 Winter Olympics changed how people view him:

I don’t know if it really changed me too much. After a couple months went by everything kind of cooled down. A lot of people started looking at me for just shootouts after that, which I guess made sense a little bit. But I like to bring a little bit more than that to the table as far as my game goes. Hopefully, I can improve on that. I feel like my best years are still coming up here, so hopefully this year can be one of those years.

On the remainder of his summer:

I think we’ve got our minds set on a place. Right now it’s still kind of up in the air. We’re getting married in a couple weeks, so that’s the main focus right now. After that, just continuing my workouts up in Minnesota and hopefully I’ll be here around Sept. 1.

On wedding plans:

Wedding planning’s hard. We’re building a house (just south of St. Paul, Minn.) as well right now. We move in on the 20th (of July) and the wedding is on the 25th. So busy times. It’s exciting. I can’t wait to get here. I’m going to enjoy this summer and obviously enjoy the wedding and the new house but I’m excited for the next chapter.

On seeing Troy Brouwer at Kettler on Friday:

I guess it’s a little awkward, but it’s part of the business. We’re both pretty mature about it. We talked. He was just getting off the ice and I said hi to him. We’ve been texting each other, talking about the possibility of renting our houses and things like that. I don’t think either of us were asking for a trade, but it happened and it’s going to be a new chapter.

On where he might fit into the Caps’ lineup:

There’s been a little communication on that. Obviously, losing Wardo (Joel Ward) and Brouwer was tough for the organization and the team. They are two big players who played big minutes. So I’m looking to step in and hopefully take up some of those minutes and be a difference maker right away.

On becoming teammates with Justin Williams:

He seems like a great guy and a great teammate. He comes up in big games which is nice to have on your side. I think we’re both really excited to step into a team that’s a great contender to go deep into the playoffs next year.

On how he would describe the way he plays and what it was like to face Williams:

I’d say I’m a pretty all-around player. I like the defensive side of the puck just as much as the offensive side. I’m confident in my abilities on the power play, on the penalty kill, late in games, in tough situations, whether we’re up a man or down a man. Me, personally, I like to run around (and hit opponents). I may not always have my best game every night, but I’ll work as hard as I can every night.

As far as (Williams’) game, he seems like he’s a similar player. Maybe he doesn’t run around and hit quite as much, but he can do some pretty cool things with the puck. It seems when the games get going and the suspense gets high he calms down and plays cool and collective. So it will be nice to have someone like that on our side.

MORE CAPITALS: LEONSIS SPEAKS ON OVECHKIN AND CAPS

  

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Players to watch

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Players to watch

It doesn't take an expert to tell you players like Alex Ovechkin or Marc-Andre Fleury will play a big role in the Stanley Cup Final.

Both the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights will need their best players to be at their best to take home the Cup. But who will be the unexpected heroes? Who are the players no one is talking about who will have a big hand in their team's success or defeat in this series?

Here are five players you should be watching in the Stanley Cup:

1. Devante Smith-Pelly: Smith-Pelly had seven goals in 79 games in the regular season. Now he has four goals in just 19 playoff games.

Smith-Pelly has been one of those unlikely playoff heroes for the Caps this postseason with very timely performances such as scoring the series-clinching goal in Game 6 against the Columbus Blue and scoring the goal that put the game away in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The physical play has really stood out as well for him, which fits well on the fourth line role he has settled back into now that the team is healthy again. Barry Trotz tried moving him to the top line in the absence of Tom Wilson and the results weren't great. He is best suited for the role he currently has and that will allow him to thrive.

2. James Neal: Neal came up just short of the Stanley Cup last season as a member of the Nashville Predators. He totaled nine points in 22 games during that run, a number he has already matched in just 15 games this postseason.

There are very few players on either team that boast the kind of postseason experience Neal has. He will be leaned upon this series for his leadership.

Vegas is a young team and their unprecedented success in the playoffs may make this feel like the first run of many for the Golden Knights, but not for Neal who is on the last year of his contract and came tantalizingly close to the Cup last season. He will play like there is no tomorrow because, for him, there may not be in Vegas.

3. Andre Burakovsky: Burakovsky was one of the heroes of Game 7 with two goals to put away the Tampa Bay Lightning. That marked just the latest peak in a career full of peaks and valleys for the young winger. Just two games before, Burakovsky was a healthy scratch and spoke to the media about his plans to speak with a sports psychologist in the offseason.

The talent is there and it certainly appears that the injury that kept him out earlier in the playoffs is largely behind him. Burakovsky’s issues have always been mainly between the ears. In a series against a fast team with strong depth, he can be an absolutely critical piece for the Caps. Hopefully, his Game 7 performance gave him the confidence he needs to continue to be effective.

4. Ryan Reaves: Vegas acquired both Reaves and Tomas Tatar around the trade deadline. If I were to tell you that through three rounds of the playoffs, both players were healthy, had played the same number of games (6) and had the same number of points (1), you’d think I was crazy. Yet, here we are.

Reaves was largely an afterthought in a complicated trade between Vegas, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators, but he has carved a nice role for himself on the Golden Knights’ fourth line and even scored the goal that sent Vegas to the Stanley Cup Final against the Winnipeg Jets.

Reaves is also an agitator on the ice, but what do the Caps do against a player like that when their normal fighter plays on the top line? We may see Reaves and Wilson come to blows this series, but it won't be very often because that is a bad tradeoff for the Caps.

5. Brooks Orpik: The elder statesman of the blue line, Orpik is the only player on the Caps with a Stanley Cup to his name and is the only one who has any idea what this experience is going to be like for the team.

Orpik is very diligent about keeping in shape which has allowed him to play in 81 games this season and all 19 playoff games despite being 37 years old, but you do have to wonder how much is left in the tank. Despite being the favorite whipping boy for the proponents of analytics, his physical play has been effective this postseason. The focus he placed on the skating in the offseason has paid dividends so far in matchups against the speedy Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning, but the Golden Knights will be the fastest team they have played yet. There is no denying Orpik is much more suited towards a physical style of game. Wil he continue to be effective or will Vegas exploit the Caps' third defensive pairing?

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

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Capitals vs. Golden Knights Game 1 Stanley Cup Final: Date, Time, TV Channel, Livestrem

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Capitals vs. Golden Knights Game 1 Stanley Cup Final: Date, Time, TV Channel, Livestrem

The wait is finally over. 

After two decades, the Capitals are back in the Stanley Cup Final. 

After a convincing 4-0 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Capitals are in Vegas to take on the Golden Knights. They'll be facing off against a handful of familiar names, with former Caps GM George McPhee, fan favorite Nate Schmidt, and ex-Penguins goalie Marc Andre-Fluery are just a few of the names that'll be suiting up for Vegas. 

What will the X-factors in the series be? Who will be the unexpected heroes of Game 1? The action is almost underway, and here are all the details you need to know.

Game 1 Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Monday, May 28
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV.
TV Channel: NBCSN 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 FM)

WHEN IS GAME 1 OF THE CAPITALS-GOLDEN KNIGHTS SERIES?

Game 1 of the Capitals-Golden Knights 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final takes place on Monday, May 28 at 8:00 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.

WHAT TV CHANNEL IS GAME 1 OF THE CAPITALS-GOLDEN KNIGHTS SERIES ON?

The TV broadcast of Game 1 between the Capitals and Golden Knights is on NBC. Capitals pre- and postgame coverage takes place on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

5:00 p.m. — Caps Cup Preview
6:00 p.m. — Caps GameDay Live
6:30 p.m. — Caps Face Off
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:00 p.m. — Game 1 Capitals vs. Golden Knights
10:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM CAPITALS vs. GOLDEN KNIGHTS GAME 1?

Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights is available for online stream on the NBC Sports App. Click here for the NBC Sports live stream page.

CAPITALS vs. GOLDEN KNIGHTS GAME 1 OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals digital producer JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.