Lars Eller has finally weighed on the new nickname bestowed upon him by teammate TJ Oshie, who in February referred to Eller as “a horse and a moose coming through the middle.” In a podcast interview released today, Eller called the description “one of the biggest compliments you can get.”
And yes, Eller has seen all the photoshops combining a horse and moose with his existing animal alter ego, the tiger, and it seems like he likes them.
“It’s such an Osh comment,” he said. “I didn’t hear it at first but the next day when I woke up I had family members and friends sending me pictures of my face on a moose and mixed with a horse and it was on my social media feeds. … We had some good laughs about it in the room.”
Eller also offered his perspective on whether he would be a hybrid tiger-moose-horse, or embody three separate animals at the same time.
“I think the only guy that can answer that question is Osh himself, what he was thinking, if he was thinking three different or an actual hybrid,” Eller said. “My guess would be a hybrid type of thing, a player that can do a little bit of everything.”
Eller, who has missed the Capitals’ last five games due to injury, made the comments in an interview on Coffee with Closers, a podcast produced by the Virginia-based communications firm Pinkston. The 40-minute interview touched on a range of topics, including Eller’s perspective on the divisional realignment for the 2020-21 season that sees the Capitals play only against other teams in the East division.
“It intensified rivalries. I thought it was odd to begin with, but don’t mind it at all. It’s been a positive so far.”
Eller also called himself a “big fan” of the new travel schedule, where the Capitals often play multiple games in each city during road trips.
“One of the biggest things that wears you down physically during the season is the travel,” he said. “Now playing more than one game in one city you cut down a lot of that travel and it increases our chance to recover and rest. I’m a big fan of that and I hope the NHL will look at that certainly once we get back to normal.”
During the podcast Eller, like many Capitals fans, revealed himself to not be a fan of the “fake crowd noise” that is being pumped into empty arenas during pandemic-era games.
“We certainly miss the fans in the building, the atmosphere that creates is irreplaceable,” Eller said. “Now after a couple games you get used to that, you adapt and become used to not having that but just thinking back to what a regular seaons game at Cap One or playoff games, thre’s no comparison. We need fans back in the buildings and I think the fans need it too. I was a fan growing up, I used to go to the games, watch my dad’s team play or my brother’s – that’s a big thing. I think everybody needs it.”
Eller, though, has not seen the intensity of games change despite fans being forced to mostly watch at home this season.
“The games have been intense and I don’t think there’s been a lack of focus or concentration or excitement,” Eller said. “From a player, like the feeling you get going on the ice and the noise and you hear the momentum swing back and forth, that you miss that feeling, the atmosphere the fans help create. Once the puck drops it’s always the same, you play the game with the same intensity, focus, and execution – we’re almost a little bit like robots in that regard.”
Meanwhile, the Capitals could begin welcoming some fans back into Capital One Arena soon after MSE submitted a proposal to the District of Columbia. The Washington Nationals and DC United both recently got clearance from the government to begin hosting fans once again.
“I think it’s realistic we’ll see Capital One Arena open up in some capacity in the next couple months and we can slowly return to having fans back,” Eller said.
During the chat, the scorer of the Capitals’ Stanley Cup-winning goal also shared the best advice he’s ever been given. “Have the mentality of never stop learning,” he said. “Never try to stop getting better no matter how successful you are in your field. Be humble enough to know there are still things you can get better at or learn.”
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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