It’s been a difficult week for Capitals forward T.J. Oshie, but he said the Flyers are among those lending him a hand as he deals with the loss of his father.
Oshie is one of the more respected players in the NHL. The nature of his story this week has acted as a counterbalance to the Tom Wilson/non-suspension-mania saga that engulfed the league. Still not sure how Shayne Gostisbehere got two games, Pavel Buchnevich only one, and Wilson zero for their various infractions. Maybe the Rangers can enlighten us with another hand-grenade statement.
In the midst of all that turmoil was Oshie, whose father, Tim, died Monday following a battle with Alzheimer’s. The picture and video of Oshie crying and hugging his dad, affectionately known as “Coach” after Washington won the Stanley Cup in 2018, is indelible.
Wednesday’s Capitals-Rangers game will be remembered dubiously for the six fights in the first period and Buchnevich’s nasty cross-check to the face of Anthony Mantha. Oshie had a hat trick that night, calling it “the most meaningful game of my career.”
“That game the other night was awesome to watch,” said Flyers defenseman Justin Braun, who played frequently against Oshie when they were in the Western Conference. “You don’t see a lot of things [that emotionally raw] like that in sports.”
Oshie scored again on Friday not long after a quick chat with Flyers goalie Brian Elliott during pregame warmups. The two were teammates in St. Louis for four years.
“Moose came over and, you know, gave his condolences, as well as some of the other Flyers’ players,” Oshie said. “A lot of the Rangers players, despite how crazy that game was, a lot of them came up and gave their condolences.”
Oshie left Saturday’s game late in the second period with a lower-body injury.
The Capitals are fighting for playoff positioning, the Flyers are trying to spoil that, and the Rangers were standing up for themselves and hitting any Capital who moved. In the midst of all that, there is simple compassion.
“All that support, it makes the process of getting through the grieving easier,” Oshie said following Friday’s game. “I can’t thank everyone enough for reaching out, for the support for me and for my family. So many kind words said about my dad, Coach.”
» READ MORE: Cam York was ready for the next step
List of the day
The 20 minutes, 19 seconds Cam York logged on Friday marked the second-highest total in a debut by a Flyers defenseman this century according to Hockey-Reference.com. The Flyers’ top five since 2000-01:
1. Robert Hagg, 2016-17, 21:19, five shots on goal.
2. Cam York, 2020-21, 20:19, also quarterbacked the power-play.
3. Ivan Provorov, 2016-17, 20:18, had an assist.
4. Randy Jones, 2003-04, 20:05, game after epic brawl with Ottawa; Flyers were short on D-men.
5 Egor Zamula, 2020-21, 19:19, Jones and Zamula were undrafted.
Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman had the most ice time for any defenseman in his debut when he logged 26:27 as an 18-year-old in 2009-10.
Shots for free tickets
As part of their COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the Flyers are offering a voucher for two tickets to a game next season to every fan who gets a vaccine shot at Monday’s season finale. They must limit it to those who have tickets to the game.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and health-care workers from Penn Medicine will dispense the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until 7:30 p.m. Other goodies will be handed out, as well.