TJ Oshie recently spoke to the Men In Blazers’ Roger Bennett and revealed the backstory behind his epic beer chug after the Capitals’ Stanley Cup championship in 2018.
Oshie also spent a majority of the interview explaining the how and why of the Capitals’ pregame rituals, including his butt slashes with Tom Wilson. Earlier this season, Oshie broke his stick over Wilson’s derriere.
The conversation is transcribed below.
I am fascinated by how the Caps team is a collective forged out of very different guys. The quality and quantity of pre-game rituals that you unveil, it’s staggering. I mean, you have one handshake for almost every player.
TJ Oshie: “Kuzy is the first guy that I handshake. We go to each other and lock each other’s elbows almost like you were dancing.”
You and Carlson?
TJ Oshie: “Little hop at the start and then a high five, into the elbows.”
TJ Oshie: “I don’t think this one’s appropriate for TV.”
You and Ovi.
TJ Oshie: “Three hard high fives until my shoulder almost breaks. And then a really hard elbow. And then a chest bump. And then we say, “Let’s f*cking go.’”
Is that what it is because I always thought that was just some close quarters breath smelling.
TJ Oshie: “You get spit on a little bit, depending on when the guy drank his Gatorade last.”
I watch that and at that moment I realize you are experiencing more testosterone than will flow through my body probably in my entire life.
TJ Oshie: “Just trying to stay on your feet. Bumping Big O is a pretty tough task so I’ve got to give it my all to not look like a fool.”
But all of this is just warming up because perhaps your most famous pregame ritual, the one that sets the tone for the team: you and Tom Wilson. You savor the opportunity to trade off on the delivery of the ultimate slap shot to each other’s badonkadonks. Sometimes it’s a rasping rocket to the rear. Sometimes you test the integrity of each other’s groin area with your stick.
TJ Oshie: “We’ve got some different things going depending on if we lost last game, if we won we’ll do the same thing. So there’s a little bit of superstition there depending on what we tap, how hard we tap it, and how we do it.”
You’re not a urologist, you just play one on TV. All of these rituals, they do have a practical purpose. There is a method to the Oshie madness: bringing a unity to the team.
TJ Oshie: “When you do it one or two times, it’s just a little handshake and you’re just having fun. I think when you do it for a full season, you get to the playoffs, and you’re going out for a third period, and you really need to be on top of your game, and you stick to your routine, it really becomes a bond, and some people say that you need a little hatred on a team or sometimes you’ve got to play with guys that you dislike, I’m not that way. I think you need to care about the person that’s next to you, and that’s a way to build that bond and that care.”
— NHL (@NHL) March 4, 2020
Headline photo courtesy of the NHL
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