Earlier today, Kevin Shattenkirk landed in New York City, and tonight he will face the Rangers as the newest member of the Washington Capitals. Before resting ahead of the game, Shattenkirk spoke to the Capitals’ Mike Vogel about the trade, reuniting with TJ Oshie, and potentially playing with Alex Ovechkin on the power play.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 28, 2017
Your reaction to finding out that you’ve been traded to the Capitals?
Kevin Shattenkirk: Lot of excitement on my end. I think this was a team that I didn’t envision to be here and kind of in the race. Then, out of nowhere it just kinda came out of the blue. So, it’s been an exciting couple of hours for me and, obviously, today meeting a few of the guys makes it all real.
It’s gotta help the fact that you played with TJ Oshie for so long. What’s it like to be reunited with him?
Kevin Shattenkirk: It’s great. TJ is a teammate of mine who I’ve always valued and someone who has always been a close friend to me, so I think for me it makes it a little easier coming into the locker room and having a guy like him to help me out and make this an easy transition. My job is to come in here and help this team make that final push and I am excited to do it.
With pro-athletes [after a trade], the team wants you there right away and they want results right away. But you’ve been though this before. What can you take from that experience that you and put forth this time?
Kevin Shattenkirk: I think you have to realize you’re not going to be able to uproot your life and have it all fall into place in a matter of days. You have to take your time and it will all happen over time. I’ll get everyone moved over that I need to, but right now it’s about focusing on hockey and it’s kinda good to be thrown right into the fire and have to play a game tonight because it gets your mind back to where you’re used to.
Thrown right into the fire, you land [in NYC] this afternoon and play here tonight without the benefit of a morning skate or a practice or anything. But if I’m reading it right, you did the same thing six years ago, right?
Kevin Shattenkirk: Yeah, that was a wild day. I think we left San Jose at about five in the morning and we landed in St. Louis at three and I had a game that night. So, you know I think tonight’s game will be played purely on adrenaline and after tonight I can hopefully rest up tomorrow and really start thinking about things.
What are the keys for a guy like yourself to fit in with that [power play] unit when you got the guy Alex Ovechkin and maybe finding where he likes the puck and how he likes it to happen?
Kevin Shattenkirk: Yeah, that’s going to be an adjustment obviously and something we’ll have to work on but, like you said, he’s the threat and he’s the guy you want to get the puck in his hands and, obviously, with Nick on the half-wall he’s another guy who controls it. So, I think it’s going to be a pretty easy job for me, I just have to learn how to make that pass to him and hopefully he’ll be putting a couple in for me.
Tonight, you’ll probably be playing a lot with Nate Schmidt. What is the key to you guys developing some instant on-the-ice chemistry?
Kevin Shattenkirk: Well I think, keep it simple to start. I’ll lean on him, probably, for a lot of talking through the plays and figuring out what the team’s structure is like and I think for me it’s just a matter of playing my game and all the systems and everything will fall into place. But, for the most part, I just want to go out there play hockey and have fun.
You’re part of a pretty formidable all-american right side there with Matt Niskanen, John Carlson, and yourself. Ever been part of a right side like that?
Kevin Shattenkirk: It’s pretty special. I think we felt like we had a good right side in St. Louis and then to be traded here and be with these two it’s pretty cool. John’s someone who I know from the Olympics and Matt I know has been very successful here, so it’s a great D-core for me to sit back and lean on and look for advice and it’s going to be fun to be a part of.
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