Things are about to get really crazy in the coming weeks for the Washington Capitals. But before we dive into that let’s put a final bow on the 2021 season by looking back at the top moment. We’ve counted down the best and the worst of the season, but if I were to look back on the unique 2021 season, it was this moment that I believe shined the brightest.
The date was May 5th and the setting was Madison Square Garden. In a night that featured a ton of animosity from both sides, it was T.J. Oshie who stole the spotlight and the show. Just two nights ago, Tom Wilson was in the center of another controversial play that prompted frustration from the Rangers.
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Wilson got a 10 minute misconduct penalty in the game which included four minutes for roughing and received a $5,000 fine from the league the day after the game. The Rangers, in their statement, were calling for the league to suspend him calling the hit a “horrifying act of violence.”
When the puck dropped, tempers flared and there was a complete forward brawl to start the game. Six fights happened in the first 4:14. There were 141 total penalty minutes with 100 of those minutes coming in the first period alone.
After all that bad blood in the first 20 minutes, Oshie and the Caps took over. Oshie scored the first goal of the game 12 seconds into the second period. He netted his second at 8:26. Nic Dowd made it 3-0 at 14:48.
The Caps would go on to win 6-3 and Oshie’s third goal came on an empty netter with 1:40 left to seal the win. The Caps all celebrated by playing Oshie’s goal song “Country Roads” in the locker room. Wish there was video of it. But what there is video of is Oshie’s emotions after the final horn. He was all teared up as his teammates embraced him.
This wasn’t just any hat trick for T.J. It was a hat trick to honor his father, Tim “Coach” Oshie who passed away a day prior at 56 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012. One of the special moments in the aftermath of Washington’s Stanley Cup in 2018 was when Oshie and his dad shared a moment together on the ice with T.J. telling his pops, “you’ll remember this.”
This game is definitely up there with some of the top Caps games of all time. What we saw that night wasn’t just a win but an entire team coming together as a family.