The Washington Capitals lost TJ Oshie to injury late in the third period of Game Four.
Oshie, unsuspecting, was shoved in the back by Warren Foegele and crashed into the boards. He writhed on the ice in pain.
It did not look good.
As Oshie entered the offensive zone, Foegele cross-checked the Capitals forward from behind in the numbers. Oshie lost balance and slammed into the boards shoulder-first.
Here’s another look. Oshie’s right shoulder appears to have sustained most of the force of the hit.
Oshie then skated off the ice holding his right arm still with his left hand.
Foegele was given a two-minute minor for boarding.
NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May believed Foegele should have been given a major penalty and the Department of Player Safety should look at the hit. “It has to be a suspension,” May said. “Oshie is helpless and defenseless in that situation.”
After the game, head coach Todd Reirden hinted that Oshie’s injury was serious and the forward “will not be playing anytime soon.” The team would have a further update Friday.
“I can give you a quick recap of what happened there,” Reirden said. “A defenseless player quite a distance from the boards. It’s an extremely dangerous play and he will not be our team with a while. He will not be playing anytime soon… We won’t be having one of our key players for quite some time.”
A frustrated Alex Ovechkin told media postgame that Foegele’s play was “dirty” and it deserved a five-minute major penalty.
“I don’t want to comment this, but we try to avoid that [hit]. We have all these meetings. GMs makes meetings. Referees watch the videos. [Then] it’s two minutes,” Ovechkin said. “The guy hurt. It’s dirty play. Not two minutes. A different call.”
Several Caps players talked about Oshie’s leadership and how much he would be missed.
“You never want to see a guy go down no matter who it is,” Tom Wilson added. “He works really hard for us every night. Battles extremely hard. That sucks to see a heart-and-soul guy go down. I haven’t talked to him, so we’ll see how he’s doing.”
Foegele told Hurricanes’ reporters that he was trying to lift Oshie’s stick and it was an accident. He hoped Oshie would be okay.
Here's what Warren Foegele told reporters: “I was trying to lift his stick, trying to give him a little nudge. It was a little unfortunate play there, I wasn’t trying to hurt him or anything. I hope he’s OK.”
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) April 19, 2019
“I thought he just pushed him,” Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “There wasn’t a penalty being called. He crashed into the boards hard and then that’s when the arm went up when he stayed down. You don’t like to see that. I think more than anything, he’s just not ready for the hit. You see a lot of hits that are way, way worse than that. I think he just went in awkward. I don’t know the extent of the injury. Barely hit him, I thought, really. Gave him a little shove.”
Oshie has had a history of shoulder injuries during his career. He was the team’s second-leading goalscorer during the regular season.
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