Liam O’Brien is having the best Training Camp of his career as a member of the Washington Capitals.
And Friday against the St. Louis Blues, O’Brien showed off his leadership skills dropping his gloves with Jordan Nolan after a listless Capitals squad gave up two consecutive goals to start the second period.
The spirited fight, however, knocked O’Brien out for the rest of the game.
The bout happened at the 1:50 mark of the second period. The Capitals gave up two goals in 25 seconds to Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko. On the following faceoff, The Big Tuna dropped his mitts with Nolan and the two big rigs combined to throw over 20 punches at each other’s face.
O’Brien, who never really seemed to have a good angle, was stung by a series of lefts thrown by Nolan including two big uppercuts.
As O’Brien left the ice to go back to the locker room, he could be seen trying to fire up the Capitals bench.
The forward did not return to the game. The Capitals later posted a bloody photo of O’Brien after the fight.
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After the game, Capitals head coach Todd Reirden kept O’Brien off the ice for the rest of the game for precautionary reasons.
Coach Reirden on the preseason loss tonight in St. Louis pic.twitter.com/2hvTAUfSpI
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 28, 2019
“We’ll continue to evaluate O’Brien,” Reirden said. “He did a really important team thing there to change the momentum of the game. There’s no sense of putting him back out there. Just make sure everything’s fine.”
While the Capitals have a ton of depth in their bottom six, O’Brien has been impressive during Training Camp.
O’Brien recently scored a goal against the Blackhawks.
.@OfficialBigTuna with the tip in to give the Caps a 1-0 lead pic.twitter.com/DZfMmtNmqT
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) September 26, 2019
His hustle in the corner also led to Brett Leasons’s first professional goal in the NHL.
Some pressure by the @OfficialBigTuna forces a turnover. Brett Leason buries it for his first preseason goal as a Capital. pic.twitter.com/8QGVZfdFTW
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) September 21, 2019
O’Brien may not make the team, but he’s proven he deserves another shot in the NHL.
Might not be room for him on the opening night Caps roster, but Liam O'Brien has played well throughout camp and preseason.
If he is sent down, he'll have to clear waivers. Could be one of the first call-up considerations at forward if he clears waivers.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) September 28, 2019
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