(Alternate) Captain of the Cup Finals: Brooks Orpik Quietly Having A Solid Postseason Performance

Brooks+Orpik+2018+NHL+Stanley+Cup+Final+Game+UD8sokuIh64lHarry How/Getty Images North America

Throughout the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the performances of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Braden Holtby (among others) have been well-documented in the Capitals’ run to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. One player who hasn’t received much attention is Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik, who, despite largely unfair criticism from some in the Caps’ fan base, has performed exactly as he has since the team signed him in 2014.

The only member of the Capitals’ roster with a Stanley Cup ring (which he won in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins), Orpik’s experience and leadership have been a welcome addition to the Caps’ locker room throughout the first four seasons of his five-year contract signed in 2014, especially so this season, when the Capitals have employed multiple young defensemen and forwards after losing key veterans the past two seasons. Throughout the 2018 playoffs, Orpik has played with rookie blueliner Christian Djoos, serving as both a defensive compliment to Djoos’ offensive skills as well as a mentor to the former seventh-round draft pick. But Orpik’s play throughout the annual spring tournament has been impressive and key in the Caps’ run to the Stanley Cup Final. In 21 playoff games played, Orpik has averaged 16:59 of ice time a game, recording four points (one goal, three assists), with a plus-16 rating, which is the best among all players who have played in the 2018 playoffs.

Orpik has always played a physical, stay-at-home style of game, something the Capitals wanted from him when they signed him to a five-year, $27.5 million contract in free agency in 2014 (a contract that while disputed, IS worth the price the Caps pay him), and a style of play he has played since arriving in the District. While his ice time has decreased as he has aged and with the increased roles of Dmitry Orlov, Matt Niskanen, and the additions of Michal Kempny and Djoos this season, Orpik has remained one of the Caps’ most reliable defenders, both at even-strength and on the penalty kill, on which he has logged a total of 68:46 minutes in the playoffs, the most among all players who have competed in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has also blocked 15 shots.

With the Capitals set to host the first Stanley Cup Final game at Capital One Arena in 20 years on Saturday night, Orpik will be relied upon to keep members of the Golden Knights out of Braden Holtby’s goal-crease. And given his performance thus far, that shouldn’t be a concern.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first and only Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography and reading in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
This entry was posted in Defense, News, NHL, Players, Playoffs, Washington Capitals and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to (Alternate) Captain of the Cup Finals: Brooks Orpik Quietly Having A Solid Postseason Performance

  1. Pingback: What Happens in Vegas… A Look at Brooks Orpik’s Shocking Shot on Net | NoVa Caps

  2. Tim says:

    Great article. He gives the Caps what they don’t have on the back end, physicality. Brooks is Brooks. He doesn’t try to do what he isnt capable of doing. You very rarely see him out of position. Is he slow? Yes. But he’s never been fast. He reads the play and takes the right angles. This run in the playoffs isn’t possible without a d- man like Brooks.

    Like

  3. Ron Bove says:

    Great article. You are exactly right, Orpik isn’t getting the credit he deserves. He has been playing outstanding in the playoffs (when it counts the most) If he continues to play this well throughout the series with Vegas, no doubt the Cups will be here in Washington. LETS GO CAPS

    Like

  4. Pingback: “It Kind of Fell Off” – Brooks Orpik Talks About Finger Injury from Eric Haula’s Slash in Game 2 | NoVa Caps

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