But by the end, the marquee belonged to Oshie. Per Olympic shootout rules, teams are permitted to use any player as many times as it desires once it goes past the third round.
Team USA coach Dan Bylsma selected Oshie first in the shootout and then again in rounds 4-8 and probably would have kept sending him out there if the shootout lasted until Easter. Oshie scored on four of his six attempts.
“I was nervous for him,” team captain Zach Parise admitted. “At some point, you think, does he have any more moves left? For someone to keep consistently scoring in a shootout like that, it’s pretty impressive.”
Backes, who is Oshie’s teammate with the St. Louis Blues, has seen those moves plenty of times. Backes says he chuckles sometimes at Oshie’s creativity in shootouts.
“I can’t do that one, or the second one, or the third one, or the fourth one, or any of them,” Backes said. “He’s a great guy to have in those situations. He is calm and collected and made some great moves.”
Afterward, Oshie disappointed those hoping for deep introspection about his thought process in those pressure moments.
“Just score as many goals as you can,” he said.
That works, too. His heroics gave Team USA two victories in two games with little time to recharge emotionally and physically before playing Slovenia on Sunday.
That game can’t possibly touch the emotion and intensity that flowed in that arena Saturday night. For once, a moment in time proved to be better than its buildup, and it turned out to be a quite a show.
Chip Scoggins firstname.lastname@example.org