While all the focus was on Tom Wilson Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, the real story was what happened with TJ Oshie.
Oshie scored a hat trick against the New York Rangers in what was the first game since the passing of his father. The Capitals’ American forward announced Tuesday that his father Tim had passed away at the age 56.
Oshie tweeted that his father “lived life to the fullest and was unanimously loved by everyone who met him.”
It’s with a heavy heart today that my family mourns the passing of my Dad “Coach Oshie.” Coach lived life to the fullest and was unanimously loved by everyone who met him. Thanks to all the family and friends for their support. Heaven received a legend today. #RIPCoachOsh pic.twitter.com/WSAgNNtTpO
— TJ Oshie (@TJOshie77) May 4, 2021
Oshie missed the first game against the Rangers on Monday to be with his father, but made his return to Washington’s lineup on Wednesday. TJ scored twice in regulation before scoring on the empty net to complete the hat trick. The Capitals won 4-2.
Just days after the passing of his father, @TJOshie77 scores a hat trick.
This one is for you, Coach. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/9edOS7Jql9
— NHL (@NHL) May 6, 2021
Oshie was very emotional on the bench after soaking in the moment and getting congratulated by teammates. The NBCSN cameras showed him fighting back tears.
An emotional TJ Oshie on the bench after scoring a hat trick in his first game since his father's passing pic.twitter.com/zGRfGF2YPP
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 6, 2021
Oshies also shared a prolonged hug with teammate Nicklas Backstrom, which was very special. Backstrom told media after the game,”I felt like he needed a hug. I think I told him, ‘You’re the strongest person I know.'”
All of the hockey hugs for @TJOshie77. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/fqEfN6O2wT
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 6, 2021
Oshie’s dad, who earned the nickname “Coach”, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012. Despite the disease, Tim still managed to support his son throughout his career. TJ and Tim shared a very emotional moment on the ice after the Capitals won the Stanley Cup in 2018.
“He doesn’t remember a lot of stuff these days, but he remembers enough”, said Oshie as he wiped away tears. “This one will stick with him forever. I guarantee that.”
T.J. Oshie talking about his dad after winning the Stanley Cup is what it's all about pic.twitter.com/Lm7QQk9TEw
— Gino Hard (@Ginohard_) June 8, 2018
Oshie reportedly declined to speak with media post-game, which is understandable given the emotions he must be feeling.
This night will be remembered for a line brawl and six fights in the opening five minutes, but don’t forget Oshie’s incredible performance and tribute to his father.