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Osala: 'It's A Big Day In My Life'

Oskar Osala knew his time would come, and that it would likely be this season. But the big winger was still shocked when the call finally came yesterday.

"I got to the rink and I saw coach and he told me GM [Doug Yingst] wanted to talk to me," Osala recalled. "I asked, 'Am I in trouble?' Coach [Bob Woods] said, 'I don't know. But I don't think so. Then I came into the office and they told me the great news."

Like so many of the Bears, Osala - his name is pronounced Oh-SU-la - is having a great season down on the farm. He has 16 goals, six assists and a plus-17 while playing on a line with prospects Mathieu Perreault and Francois Bouchard. Almost all of Osala's points have come at even strength.

Osala, the 10th Bear to be recalled this season, is here because of the Caps' ongoing injury problems. When he makes his NHL debut tonight, he'll be replacing Tomas Fleischmann, who will miss his first game with a "lower body" injury.

"It's a big day in my life for sure," said Osala, the Caps' fourth round choice in 2006. "I hope I can get a little nap in before the game. [Coach Bruce Boudreau] told me to do the same things I was doing in Hershey - shoot the puck and work hard in the corners."

Osala, a tough, energetic, 6-foot-4, 225-pound power forward, has quickly become a fan favorite in Hershey. So much so that the rookie's jersey is the top seller up there, I'm told.

Boudreau hasn't seen Osala play since training camp. But he said he understands what the fuss is all about.

"People who pay money to see games, want to see a bang for their buck," Boudreau said. "He's got skill, he goes to the front of the net, he works the corners, he's all of those things. The rest we'll see tonight."

Osala's goal on his first NHL recall? Stick around at least through Saturday, since the Washington-Montreal game will be shown on television -- at 2 a.m. -- back in his native Finland.

The Caps have gone top-secret with their lines, but Osala is apparently playing with Brooks Laich and Matt Bradley.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 10, 2008; 11:18 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Osala Recalled; Fleischmann Hurting (Update)
Next: Morning Skate Update


what, Bruse broke up the Ugly Guys-and-Homecoming King line?!?! I quite liked the brutal mugs of Brashear and Bradly framing Steckel.

Posted by: RedBirdie | December 10, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Well that's an interesting energy line.

Posted by: Section117 | December 10, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I am PSYCHED to see this kid play.

Posted by: ThisGuy | December 10, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

SO WHO IS BACK TONIGHT?? Can we at least know who practiced fully??

Posted by: DCSPORTS | December 10, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Well i dont know how to skate, but the rate this team is going down with injuries I'm gonna learn how to just in case.

I'm glad we have such great organizational depth because i have yet to hear a peep of an excuse from the pro club yet (i.e.'we're losing 'cause we have soooooo many guys hurt). I absolutely love that fact because 90% of the teams out there in all the sports would be crying bloody murder right now. Not only are the caps pushing on, they're playing great and winning a few too.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | December 10, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

It's a shame about Fleischmann, who's having a great season. I wish Osala the best of luck. His size will help against the Bruins.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 10, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Just a question here - not that Osala doesn't deserve it, but why not Bouchard? Isn't he the same mold as a Flash?

Posted by: rh71 | December 10, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"Am I in trouble?"

Boys against one of the hottest teams. This could be ugly. Or it could be really exciting. I'm hoping for the latter obviously.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 10, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean that we won't know if any of the injured guys are back until game time? Or does it mean none of the injured guys are ready for this game? I don't like this! Inquiring minds want to know, Tarik!

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | December 10, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I think Tarik waits til I start typing before he posts a new update. XD
I've heard guys at Hershey call him Oz or Os. Although you could go with O^2, Big O, Double O, and of course, as you said, Ozzie or Ossie.
vkova, not a problem! I just don't recommend attempting to watch two or three games at once on there, your internet will protest, as I found out last night. :D
The one night this week I can't watch hockey and my favorite Bear is here. Figures. I also raise my glass to a repeat of cooling down the Bruins with a ten-spot.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 10, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

He will be in trouble if he doesnt get in front of the net tonight!!

Posted by: SA-Town | December 10, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Ha! Gotta be only a matter of time till Ben Boudreau is suiting up for the big team! :-)

Posted by: tess2201 | December 10, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Watch out for this guy, he is a dump truck on skate just like Lucic. I would love to see a collision between those guys tonight. My opinion, if O is up to speed, Lucic gets run over.

Caps win tonight....

Posted by: numero94 | December 10, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Ha! Gotta be only a matter of time till Brady Boudreau is suiting up for the big team!

/um, fixed.

Posted by: Section117 | December 10, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Bradley, Laich, Osala...

The BLO Line

Posted by: pattih | December 10, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Osala should be exciting to see how he is in the NHL. Last year in World Juniors for Finland he was one of the best and also in the Finnish league for Espoo Blues. He is a big power forward known for scoring!

Posted by: musicburgler | December 10, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

if Osala will do everything that Bouds says he does, SWEET!

Posted by: doughless | December 10, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

way to spoil the secret Tarik! gosh.

Posted by: mnmnt_snow | December 10, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I guess we'll have to wait until warm-up to see who's at least trying to play today. Warm-up will be exciting today, won't it?

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 10, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

We might even be able to figure out the lines too because they work in their lines during the breakout/regroup portion of the warm-up.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 10, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

OSALA!!! I cannot WAIT to watch him play tonight! This is gonna be SO good! XD

Posted by: irockthered | December 10, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Bradley, Laich, Osala...

The BLO Line

Posted by: pattih | December 10, 2008 11:55 AM
Brooks (Laich), Oskar (Osala), Matt (Bradley)...

The BOM(B) line. I get t-shirt royalties.

Posted by: Section117 | December 10, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

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