The Capitals don’t have the playoff buzz of the Bruins, Predators, Jets, Tampa Bay Lightning or the expansion Vegas Gold

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elaine95
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The Capitals don’t have the playoff buzz of the Bruins, Predators, Jets, Tampa Bay Lightning or the expansion Vegas Gold

Postby elaine95 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:27 am

LAS VEGAS (AP) T.J. Oshie found his father on the ice amid the jubilant madness of the Washington Capitals‘ postgame celebration and wrapped him in a fierce hug.Five years after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease Mike Hoffman Jersey Womens , Tim Oshie’s memory is inconsistent and cloudy.Anyone who saw the depth of emotion in his Stanley Cup-winning son’s eyes Thursday night will never forget it.Right after Oshie won his first NHL title in the Capitals’ 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights, the veteran forward’s thoughts were on his family – particularly his father, who fostered his son’s love of the sport as a coach and a hockey dad in Everett, Washington, north of Seattle.”My dad, he doesn’t remember a lot of stuff these days,” Oshie said, his voice choking with emotion . ”He remembers enough. But I tell you what, he’s here tonight. I don’t know where he’s at, but this one will stick with him forever. You can guarantee that.”Moments later, Oshie found him. Tim had watched the game alongside his sister and daughter in the T-Mobile Arena stands.Oshie was outstanding throughout Washington’s playoff run, racking up eight goals and 13 assists in 24 games as the Caps’ fourth-leading scorer. He had a goal and two assists in the Caps’ 6-2 victory in Game 4 of the Final Peter Budaj Jersey Womens , which he finished with six points in five games.”I’ve never seen a team come together like we did here,” Oshie said. ”I’ve never seen the commitment from start to finish like we had here.”The Capitals’ Stanley Cup victory was a crowning achievement for the 31-year-old Oshie, a 10-year NHL veteran with stops in St. Louis and Washington after beginning his pursuit of the sport in the Pacific Northwest, which doesn’t produce pro hockey players in high volume.Oshie said he couldn’t have done it without steadfast support from Tim, who served as a coach for one of T.J.’s childhood teams in Everett. They both later moved to Minnesota for T.J.’s high school career.”To have him here is amazing,” Oshie said of his father. ”He doesn’t travel very well, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to get him out all playoffs. It was kind of a perfect storm to get him with my aunt and sister out from Seattle.”Later in the celebration, Oshie went for a celebratory skate with his young daughters, Lyla and Leni.”Besides my family, that’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had,” he said. ”It’s for my family. For my two little girls. I got my name on something so they’ll know that dad played hockey when they grow up.”Oshie already carved out a place in hockey history four years ago while playing for the U.S. team at the Sochi Olympics. He dominated a shootout against Russia in unbelievable fashion when coach Dan Bylsma sent him out six times. Oshie scored four goals in the eight-round shootout, including the game-winner for the Americans to beat Alex Ovechkin and the Russians.Oshie’s already strong popularity among Caps fans got a boost last week when he took Washington’s public Metro trains to Games 3 and 4.His heartfelt love for his father will be another indelible memory of the Caps’ championship season.”His memory is slipping a little Andrew Hammond Jersey Womens ,” Oshie said. ”This is one memory that I don’t think he’s going to forget.”—More Stanley Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/StanleyCupFinals Freed from the weight of the world of being Stanley Cup favorites, the Washington Capitals are playing like a team eager to prove something.Prove doubters wrong, prove their championship window hasn’t closed and, most notably, prove they can get over the playoff hump that has vexed them over the past decade. Led by top NHL goal scorer Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals go into their first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets having won 12 of their final 15 games and feeling confident about this spring despite a series of early playoff exits.”I hope best hockey is going to be in the playoffs,” Ovechkin said Saturday night. ”I think the balance on our team right now is pretty good and pretty high. That’s very good thing to go into the playoffs because in playoffs you never know what’s going to happen. Maybe one shift can change the whole series. I think we’re ready for it.”Few expected the Capitals to win the Metropolitan Division again after losing Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson, Nate Schmidt, Karl Alzner, Kevin Shattenkirk and Daniel Winnik from last year’s team that won the Presidents’ Trophy for the second consecutive season. Coach Barry Trotz and players miss no opportunity to bring up all the preseason predictions about them being a playoff bubble team.Of course, when they sat at 11-10-1 just before Thanksgiving J.T. Brown Jersey Womens , those lower expectations looked accurate. General manager Brian MacLellan insists he was never worried – and his team’s 38-16-6 record the rest of the way was the fourth best in the NHL in that time behind only Boston, Nashville and Winnipeg.The Capitals don’t have the playoff buzz of the Bruins, Predators, Jets, Tampa Bay Lightning or the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, but they have as good a chance as anyone of reaching the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in the Ovechkin era.”We have a chance to go the distance,” MacLellan said. ”I don’t know that we’re as deep or as experienced as we were last year, but I think the whole league is a little less of that. There’s probably a couple teams that are a little deeper that might have a chance, theoretically, of going farther, but I think we’re in the mix with the high-end teams.”Everyone thought the Capitals were the highest of high-end teams in 2016 and 2017, and they lost to the eventual Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round each time. Williams has implied that favorite status didn’t suit the Capitals well Tomas Plekanec Jersey Womens , and Trotz said ”the crown is quite heavy” for a team expected to win.It showed.”I think there was some external pressure that creeped in the room,” veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik said. ”I think maybe as a veteran group, we probably don’t want to admit that it affected us. I think at times it definitely did.”Finishing in first place puts some pressure on the Capitals, but it’s nothing like in years past. More than anything, there’s urgency to win with Ovechkin 32 and having three years remaining on his contract.”We all know what we’re playing for is to win a championship and I’m hoping we do it this year,” owner Ted Leonsis said. ”I’m hoping we do it within his contract time.”Columbus is a tough first-round matchup for the Capitals, but their play down the stretch makes a long playoff run possible if they get strong goaltending from Braden Holtby or Philipp Grubauer. From the net out, Washington looks like a contender thanks to the trade-deadline additions of defensemen Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek and the play of centers Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom.”We’re playing the right way a lot of the time,” Holtby said. ”It’s more where you’re at as a team and I think we’re continuing to build and push forward in the right direction. We have a lot of guys contributing right now. It’s a good sign.”Washington’s road to the elusive Cup could go through Pittsburgh and then Boston, Tampa Bay or Toronto. Perhaps the expectations being on those teams instead of the Capitals isn’t such a bad thing.”I think it’s a good thing because I think last two years we were on top of the league and we win Presidents’ Trophy,” Ovechkin said. ”Everybody thought we were going to be unstoppable in playoffs and we didn’t. … We’re going to do our thing and we’re going to have success.”—

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