Friday was media day for the World Cup of Hockey and boy did we find a gem. Swedish journalist Magnus Nyström interviewed TJ Oshie for his podcast hosted by Expressen.
Oshie spoke at length about the USA/Russia shootout from the 2014 Winter Olympics where the Caps forward played the hero. Oshie scored on four of six shots to defeat Russia, becoming a household name stateside in the process.
“I honestly got more tired skating back to the bench then actually doing the shots,” Oshie said. “It was a fun experience.”
After Nyström revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin booed the talented stickhandler while in the crowd, Oshie hinted that he’d love for President Obama to come to a Caps game.
Magnus Nyström: I’ve seen many hockey games, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything cooler than what you did in Sochi against. Can you tell me what you remember from that game and what you were thinking out there on the ice?
TJ Oshie: Yeah. Thanks, first of all. It was a pretty cool experience for me. Obviously I have to give exactly half of the credit to [Jonathan Quick] for him shutting the door back there. For me, I didn’t even know I was supposed to keep shooting, no one told me or anything and I thought, especially after I had missed a couple [of attempts] maybe they’d try something else, but they just keeping going with me. I was trying to think out in my head what move I could do next. I didn’t know, I didn’t plan on using the same route going to the net every time, until after the second one and then I thought, maybe I should just keep doing it and maybe make [Bobrovsky] nervous about what I was going to do. Honestly I’ve been doing it ever since, I didn’t know I did that before. It was a good experience and a little bit of a mind game and a fun way to win.
Magnus Nyström: At one instance, you had to wait a little bit. I don’t remember exactly what happened but I remember you standing on the ice waiting for a little while, do you remember that?
TJ Oshie: Yeah, it was pretty loud in the building and there were starting to be some chants, some Oshie chants going on and as a player, you kind of dream about that as a kid so it was a pretty cool moment for me. I was waiting for one of the refs to blow the whistle. I don’t know if they didn’t know who was blowing the whistle or there was no whistle being blown or maybe there was and I kind of didn’t hear it so I was standing there and finally they gave me the nod.
Magnus Nyström: But what were you thinking at that point?
TJ Oshie: I don’t know, I was probably panicking a bit inside about what move I was going to do, taking it in a little bit. At one point I saw on the replay that I was doing a smile and I don’t remember doing that. I don’t know what I was doing. It was a bit of a whirlwind for me.
Magnus Nyström: For your sake, how many shots did you take?
TJ Oshie: It was 6 shots. I went 4 for 6. I honestly got more tired skating back to the bench then actually doing the shots. It was a fun experience.
Magnus Nyström: I remember being in the stands and behind me I had Vladimir Putin and he was like booing in the beginning and then he was like sinking down.
TJ Oshie: [Laughs] I did hear he was at the game. Some of the guys were making jokes after [the game]. I think it’s pretty cool that a leader of the country is at a hockey game. That hasn’t happened to me…
Magnus Nyström: I the day after, Barack Obama is talking about [the shootout]. What was that like for you? It mustv’e been totally crazy.
TJ Oshie: Honestly, it was crazy. It was crazy… It was actually a crazy couple of months after that. I remember in the summer, after the season, I wasn’t in one place for more than six days. I was traveling, trying to take it all in because I normally don’t get that attention and I’m more comfortable a bit under the radar. It was crazy and for president Obama to reach out to me, that was pretty special.
Magnus Nyström: And of course you hope to meet him one day with the Stanley Cup, could you tell me a little bit of your life in Washington?
TJ Oshie: Life in Washington is awesome. The team is great, we’ve got great leaders, the coaches are fun to play for, the fans are awesome. I have two young girls and there’s probably 13-14 guys on the team with young kids so I couldn’t imagine a better setup for my family.
Magnus Nyström: How much have you Ovechkin talked about that particular game we were talking about before?
TJ Oshie: We haven’t really talked about the game that much actually.
Magnus Nyström: You should!
TJ Oshie: I don’t know, we’re comfortable with each other now to through each other some jazz back and forward. But no, what a guy. He’s as good as they come. A fun teammate to have. And it’s amazing, sometimes when a game is on the line it’s nice to just sit back and watch him go to work.
Magnus Nyström: Tell me a little bit of Nicklas Backstrom. I’m from Sweden and follow him closely. What is it like to play on the same team as him?
TJ Oshie: Oh man, I hit the jackpot there. To be on a line with those two guys. On one hand you’ve got the best scorer in the world and in my opinion, the best playmaker in the world. The way [Backstrom] can pass is elite and above the rest. I know he’s going to do good in this tournament. I’m sure he’s a leader on that team, I know he’s a quiet leader on our team in D.C. I think he’s definately one of the best.
Magnus Nyström: He’s a little underrated, right?
TJ Oshie: He’s probably the most underrated player I’ve ever seen. Doesn’t really get talked about much. But you ask anyone, the things he can do with the puck, the places he can put the puck and how much he opens up room for everyone is second to none.
Magnus Nyström: I asked him the other day if he’s had any kind of conversation with Ovechkin about the World Cup and he said “No, no, no, he’s the enemy”. Have you talked to Nicklas about the World Cup?
TJ Oshie: No, I haven’t really talked to him. I told him, that if I’m on the penalty kill, I’m just coming straight at him, I’m not going to give him time and space, because when that guy is on the half wall, he can just pick apart a penalty kill. But no, I haven’t talked to him. He lives just down the road from me and we use to have each other over for dinner before we left but since we left, nothing. I’m sure we’ll meet up once we’re here.
Magnus Nyström: And if it’s a penalty shot for Team USA in this tournament, you’re on, right?
TJ Oshie: I’m nervous, there’s so much pressure on. Before, I was kind of a no name and just thrown into the mix. Now there’s a lot of pressure but if there’s a shootout I think I’ve got a good chance going. I’m comfortable and confident I’m gonna put one past him.
Magnus Nyström: But not against Sweden!
TJ Oshie: Not against Sweden! We’ll make a deal!
Headline photo by Streeter Lecka. Transcription by Magnus Cadelin. Thanks to @thugge21 for the heads up.
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