What’s your name and where are you from?
I’m Stephen and I’m from Virginia
How did you become a fan of Brooks Orpik?
I was sitting on the beach when my phone buzzed last summer and I saw the Orpik and Niskanen deals. Like many Caps fans, I was extremely dubious about the Orpik deal…but elated by the Niskanen signing. I immediately decided to order a Niskanen jersey but after reading a lot of the negative comments about Orpik I decided the guy needed some support…I hated him all those years he was a Penguin and I just decided to start learning about him and becoming a fan.
Orpik gets quite a bit of negative press from certain elements of the blogosphere. Why is that? What are your thoughts on that?
I think a lot of the criticism is unwarranted, but he didn’t put up stellar possession numbers. I think he brought a physical presence that was lacking, and that is always going to be something that’s underrated in the #fancystats community, because a lot of it is intangible (grittership), but Brooks did seem to bring some leadership to the table – his close friendship with Kuznetsov is an example.
Hes a true leader. I agree with this to an extent – obviously I’m a big fan of the guy, and want to support him during his tenure in Washington. I think some of the journos tend to give Orpik a pretty tough time. I think Orpik is as underrated in certain aspects of his game as Mike Green was overrated for part of his time in DC. Green, of course, was subject to a TON of derision from fans. Every time the guy handled the puck on a powerplay you’d hear a chorus of ‘SHOOOOOT!’ in the Verizon Center.
While Orpik is not exactly a game changing defenseman – he certainly seems to have stiffened up the blueline for the Caps, and I really enjoy his honesty and willingness to be blunt in interviews, win or lose. I decided, ultimately, to become an Orpik fan, because I felt like he was just getting a ton of shit from people and I thought it was pretty wrong to dump on a guy just because he was an elder statesman of a rival team.