The Washington Capitals appear to finally be healthy.
Wednesday, the Capitals took the ice with two of their remaining outliers, TJ Oshie and Jakub Vrana. Oshie was nursing an upper-body injury and missed Sunday’s Capitals-Flyers game while Vrana served three days on the NHL’s COVID-19 Unavailability List for an unknown reason.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) February 10, 2021
“Felt great. Back to normal. Ready to rock,” Oshie said. “It was kind of a freak [injury]. Just one of those things, I guess, where I just had to take a little 48-hour break, unfortunately. I hated not being out there with the guys especially when we weren’t able to get the win but I’ll be out there for the next one.”
Oshie, who has two goals and seven points in 11 games, believed he could have played Tuesday during the Capitals’ rematch against the Flyers if the game would have been held. Instead, the game was postponed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Flyers.
“Our training staff did a tremendous job working on me, getting me ready to go for last night,” Oshie said. “I was pumped up that they were able to do that for me. I had quite a bit of adrenaline yesterday morning when the trainers finally got me where I needed to be and to not be able to play – it’s just unfortunate.”
Earlier in the week, the Sabres were forced to postpone their games against Washington this week as well, meaning the Capitals’ next game will be on Sunday against the Penguins. The week-long break will give the Capitals a chance to finally field a full lineup, but it also could prevent its own challenges staying in game shape.
“We had a good competition day sneakily probably to get us into conditioning out there with a lot of battles,” Oshie said. “We got some guys back. Our lines are going to look a little bit more to start the year. Hopefully, we can get some chemistry with some system stuff tomorrow, some line rushes. You can benefit from it in a lot of areas with rest, conditioning, being able to work out finally.
“Playing every other day, you’re working out after the game at 11 PM down at Cap One. That’s the only real chance you have to work out. It’s nice for guys to get their bodies right. It feels like we’ve been playing the season for a long time, but I know I know we’re pretty early in here. Good time for guys to reset their bodies.”
Obviously, things can change quickly these days, but with the Capitals having everyone back at practice today, expectation is they'll have their full roster available when they resume play at Pittsburgh on Sunday for the first time since they played at Pittsburgh on Jan. 19.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) February 10, 2021
Oshie knew he was finally one hundred percent healthy when he had a ridiculous board battle with Garnet Hathaway.
“I was going to war with Hath (Garnet Hathaway) in the corner, he’s a pretty muscular person. We were battling hard and everything’s all great.”
The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir asked for more detail, which saw both players lose their sticks in the scrum.
“What happened was my stick got caught in between his legs and I saw he was trying to crossover,” Oshie said. “In a game, you would drop your stick because it’s a penalty. On your own team, I dropped it because I don’t want to mess up a knee or something. So I dropped it and then he got one stick in there and so I kicked it out of his hands. Then we had no sticks. Then we just kept playing. Honestly, I wish they wouldn’t of blown the whistle because it would have been interesting if anyone could have gotten a shot off with their foot.”
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