Brooks Orpik held his hearing over the phone with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Sunday afternoon (4:30 PM) to discuss his hit on Pittsburgh’s Olli Maatta in game 2 on Saturday night.
Orpik received a 2-minute minor for the hit. Maatta would not return for game 2. As a result of the hit, Orpik has been suspended for three games. In the NHL’s video explanation of the hit, the NHL spokesman said, “This hit is forceful, unacceptably high and excessively late.” The NHL’s explanation video can be found here:
Head coach Barry Trotz stated in his post-game media scrum “There’s a shot and rebound, and Brooks thought it was coming back to Maatta,” Trotz said. “Then he hits him and the puck’s not there, but his intention, with the way the puck was shot, it looked like there was a rebound and he thought it was coming back over there. He just finished on the hit and there’s a little size difference, and I think Maatta was leaning over a bit.”
Playing Without Orpik
The Caps played without Orpik for three games during the first round series against the Flyers. Orpik also missed 40 games during the regular season.
Earlier in the day, it was apparent the Capitals were expecting a suspension of some form:
Winnik said the team is preparing like Orpik won’t be in the lineup. Verdict of hearing hasn’t been announced yet.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) May 1, 2016
Update on Maatta
Maatta’s status for game 3 is still uncertain:
Mike Sullivan said Olli Maatta is still being evaluated today, but he is not optimistic Maatta will be available for Game 3.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) May 1, 2016