RALEIGH, N.C. — Capitals forward T.J. Oshie will be out “quite some time” after he was pushed into the boards by Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele in what Washington captain Alex Ovechkin called a “dirty play.” Oshie seemed to be favoring his right shoulder as he left the ice during the Capitals’ 2-1 loss in Game 4. Coach Todd Reirden said he will have more specifics on the undisclosed upper body injury Friday.
“It was a defenseless player that was quite a distance from the boards,” Reirden said. “It’s an extremely dangerous play, and [Oshie] will not be with our team for a while. He won’t be playing anytime soon.”
Foegele was assessed a two-minute minor for boarding, and after the 2-1 loss, Ovechkin said he thought the referee’s call should have been harsher.
“It’s a dirty play; it has to be not two minutes. It has to be different call,” Ovechkin said.
Oshie scored 25 goals with 29 assists in 69 games this season, missing more than a month with a concussion. He plays in Washington’s top-six forward corps and on the team’s top power-play unit.
“He plays the game so hard. He’s a heart-and-soul guy,” goaltender Braden Holtby said. “I have no idea what it is or whatever. But the thing with Osh is no matter what he’s going to find a way to have a positive impact on our team, whether in or out. It doesn’t matter. He’s a leader, and he’s a guy that guys want to fight for. Hopefully he’s okay, and if not, he’s still going to find those ways to have a positive impact.”
While the Capitals took issue with the play, Hurricanes Coach Rod Brind’Amour downplayed it. Carolina has injuries of its own with forwards Andrei Svechnikov (concussion) and Micheal Ferland (upper body) both out for Game 4. Then Jordan Martinook suffered an undisclosed lower body injury in the first period.
“He crashed into the boards hard, and that’s when the arm went up because he stayed down,” Brind’Amour said. “You don’t like to see that, but more than anything, he was just not ready for the hit. You see a lot of hits that are way, way worse than that. So I think he just went in awkward. … We have way more injuries than they do, so I don’t worry about their team.”
Said Foegele: “I was trying to lift his stick, trying to give him a little nudge. It was a little unfortunate play there; I wasn’t trying to hurt him or anything. I hope he’s okay.”
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety is expected to closely review the incident.