Oshie makes impact in return with a goal in Blues victory
St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko of Russia (L) congratulates T.J. Oshie on his first goal of the season in the first period aginst the Nashville Predators at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 13, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
St. Louis Blues Ryan Reaves lays a heavy hit on Nashville Predators Seth Jones in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 13, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
Nashville Predators Eric Nystrom tries to knock St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko off of the puck in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 13, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
Referee Graham Skilliter signals goal for St. Louis Blues Carl Gunnarsson of Sweden after a review in the first period against the Nashville Predators at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 13, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
ST. LOUIS – Ask any St. Louis Blues player and they’ll tell you they have completely different kind of energy with T.J. Oshie in the line-up. After missing him for seven games, the Olympic hero scored his first goal of the season to help his team regain first place with a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators.
The 27-year-old played two seconds shy of 23 minutes in his return. The only teammate who skated more minutes than him was Alex Pietrangelo.
“I felt good,” Oshie described, “Once I got the first couple of shifts under me it felt better. It was a good game to come back to because how tight it was.”
Oshie’s goal came on the power play while playing the point position, something he hasn’t done since last season. And while Oshie said the goal was nice bonus, he was more excited to be back out on the ice. He had been out since suffering a concussion back on October 28 against the Dallas Stars. Last weekend Oshie said he thought he might be out another week or two, but participating in good practices this week gave him hope to play sooner.
“I wanted to make sure that when I came back I was ready to play my full game,” he said, “I got banged around a little bit in front of the net, but I feel great right now. My legs are a little tired.”
Head coach Ken Hitchcock said he expects Oshie to be tired after playing so many minutes in his first game back.
“He played a lot of minutes and came back in and gave us what we needed,” Hitchcock said, “It was a big help for us. I know he tired toward the end. I don’t blame him for that. He really gave us 45 good energy minutes.”
The win puts the Blues back ahead of Nashville by one point for the Central Division lead.