Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly started Sunday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. And for a very good reason.
The last time DSP was in Chicago on February 19, 2018, the right wing faced racial taunts from Blackhawks fans while in the penalty box. Those four fans were later banned from ever coming back to United Center.
According to Capitals’ senior writer Mike Vogel, Todd Reirden wanted DSP on the ice for the national anthem. The forward started the game on the first line.
After the incident that occurred here in Chicago during #Caps' last visit 11 months ago, Todd Reirden felt it was appropriate for Devante Smith-Pelly to be on ice for national anthem. So he is in starting lineup with Ovechkin/Backstrom, but Oshie will play on that line after.
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) January 20, 2019
NBC analyst Pierre McGuire added that Oshie came up originally with the idea.
TJ Oshie went to Todd Reirden and said: “I think it would be a really good idea when we come into Chicago to start Devante Smith-Pelly in my place.”
And to Todd Reirden’s credit, he said, “That’s a really good idea.”
It shows you how tight this group is as a team.
After the opening faceoff, Smith-Pelly returned to his spot on the fourth line.
What a thoughtful gesture by both Reirden and Oshie. If you ask me, that’s the best coaching decision Todd’s made all year.
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