Batya to the Rescue! Playoff Heroics Nothing New to Brooks Orpik

brooksPatrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

When one thinks of potential playoff heroes for the Capitals, defenseman Brooks Orpik’s name most likely isn’t one of them. The 38-year old blueliner is known for his physical, stay-at-home defensive play that has earned the respect of teammates, coaches, and fans over his career. With that said, Orpik’s heroics in the Capitals’ 4-3 overtime win in Game 2 of their first round playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes is nothing new to the veteran.

While he may not boast the most outstanding playoff offensive totals (four goals, 26 points in 151 career playoff games), Orpik has come through in the clutch in the postseason for both the Caps and during his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins. In Game 2 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final, Orpik scored his first postseason goal in more than four seasons to give the Capitals a two-goal lead en route to an eventual 3-2 win.

The team would go on to win the next three games to capture the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in their 44-year history. Had Orpik not scored, there is no telling which way the hard-fought game would have gone. With his first goal of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Orpik gave the Capitals a 2-0 series lead over the Carolina Hurricanes, and some extra momentum heading into Carolina on Monday.

Orpik’s overtime goal this afternoon against the Hurricanes was the second such marker of his career. The radio call from John Walton on Caps Radio:

His first came during his 11-year tenure with the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom he played in the playoffs in eight of his 11 seasons in the Steel City (he has made the postseason in each of his five seasons with the Caps). His first career playoff overtime goal came during the Penguins’ first round series against the New York Islanders in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the score tied 3-3 in Game 6, and with the Pens holding a 3-2 series lead, Orpik blasted a shot from the blueline to lift the Black and Gold to a series win. The Penguins would go on to play the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference but fell in four straight games.

Per’s Tom Gulitti, three of Orpik’s four career playoff goals are game-winners and he is now the oldest defenseman to score an overtime goal in the playoffs.

While he may not be counted on to score in overtime every game, the man affectionately called “Batya” has had himself an impressive first two games of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, playing just under 20 minutes (17:27 in Game 1 and just over 18 in Game 2) in each game, while picking up a goal and assist. And if the Capitals can continue to get contributions from throughout the lineup, it bodes nothing but good things going forward.

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 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. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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2 Responses to Batya to the Rescue! Playoff Heroics Nothing New to Brooks Orpik

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    I recall the many MANY internet comments, and even a few sports columnists, ragging on the Caps’ signing of Messrs. Niskanen and Orpik some years back. Niskanen was “an up and comer” while Orpik was a “washed-up slow poke” and the Caps would regret this trade for years to come. But Brooks Orpik has made monkeys out of his critics and been one of the Caps’ all-time clutch defensemen. The signing, in one transaction, propelled the Caps from a failing defensive corps to a very good one. After a few years the Caps blueline was equal to any other in the NHL. And Orpik has nursed along a bunch of baby defensemen, and taken the blame for the failures of more than one who failed to perform at an NHL-standard. Great article Michael Fleetwood!

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