Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov took two months off following the Capitals early exit from the 2020 playoff bubble in Toronto, spending time relaxing with his friends family. In November Orlov returned to his impressive workouts and conditioning efforts for the upcoming season back at his home in Russia, and will soon depart for the US in advance of the upcoming 2020-21 NHL season.
Orlov recently spoke about a wide range of subjects in an extended interview with the Sport-Express YouTube channel. He discussed rumors that the team’s players threw parties in the “bubble” during the NHL playoffs, his reasons for the Capitals first round elimination, the Caps’ current goaltending situation and the potential for playing in the KHL someday. The following are translated excerpts from the interview.
Orlov is aware of the reported stories about the Capitals throwing parties at the team hotel in Toronto during this years playoffs, but he’s not sure where the stories came from.
“I don’t even know what kind of reporter wrote about it. Yes, I think everyone was drinking, relaxing after the game. This is also the case during the regular season. But no one walked (left the bubble), no one tried to bring someone through the fences (entered the bubble). I don’t know where they got it from”.
He refuted reports of the parties.
“I don’t know. Didn’t hear. Perhaps the guys dabbled in something. But I cannot answer for everyone. There was no party, there is nowhere to hang out: four walls, one restaurant and your room. Was this reporter himself screwed up? ” Orlov added, “I think this is complete nonsense.”
Orlov reflected on the 2020 playoffs. He remains uncertain as to the specific reasons why the team failed to advance out of the first round.
“There was a break, the guys rested, recovered, especially those who have had injuries. It worked for some teams, but not for us. We did not show our best hockey, although we watched ourselves and prepared. When we arrived in Washington, we trained intensively.”
In discussing the possibility that it might have been harder for the older players on the team to restart the season, Orlov didn’t agree or disagree, noting it was really based on individual performance.
“I would not say. It depends on each person. Let’s take the first game. We were leading 2-0, everything was fine, but then we gave it up ourselves. Then it was hard to return to the streak after three defeats in a row. Emotionally dragged out one game, but in the fifth game Varlamov saved them a couple of times. Semyon played well throughout the series and the entire playoffs. He helped his team a lot, and they helped him. This is their strong point.”
Orlov spoke about Ilya Samsonov, who is set to assume the number one goaltender roll for the Capitals this season. Samsonov had missed the NHL playoffs due to injury, reportedly a pinched nerve in his back.
“Well, there is hope for him. Now he is preparing, training. Anything can happen. A bad experience is also an experience. The main thing is that now everything is fine, and he has the opportunity to become the first number (starter). A fairly young goalkeeper, he will be in his second year in the league, he had a great last season. Of course, perhaps he would have helped us in the playoffs, now one can only guess. And so the experienced Lundqvist came, he will also help Samsonov, teach him. Ilya will be able to learn from him and become more adult, professional. It will be a good experience.”
Orlov also talked about the departure of longtime Capitals goaltender and friend, Braden Holtby.
“We are hostages of the salary ceiling. Many teams are losing their players. There is no point in changing it. He, one might say, won the Cup. He didn’t have a very good streak at the end of the season, missed two games, but then came out and was one of the best players.”
Orlov reflected on his time being teammates with Holtby, particularly the musical side of Braden.
“He loved to play the guitar. He played almost every day. He has a peculiar style. He always wore a hat. On the day of the game, he had his own routine, he always sat in the office of our administrator, and strummed. He can play well enough. He played country music. But I think he knows a lot, we just did not hear everything. He played very well, sometimes I even sang along. He has a talent for this.”
There were reports over the last two months that KHL teams were interested in having Orlov play for them during his hiatus from the NHL, but he said he never considered it.
“No. Didn’t even consider it. I decided to rest. For the first time it so happened that after the season I rested for two months. Usually a month will pass and I will start training. And so for two months I did nothing. Now I train and prepare for a month and a half.”
However, Orlov said he might consider playing in the KHL if the NHL season was cancelled in its entirety.
“Maybe yes. Many guys would like to play in order not to miss the season. I can’t imagine how guys who didn’t make the playoffs sit so much without hockey.”
The full interview on the SE YouTube channel is below and was conducted by Mikhail Zislis and Alexey Shevchenko.
All Hockey Ru: Orlov Doesn’t Even Talk About Renting in KHL
All Hockey Ru: Scandalous Parties in Bubble
Sports Express: Orlov Discusses Cormier’s Foul on Pashnin
All Hockey Ru: Orlov Discusses Holtby Leaving Washington
All Hockey Ru: Orlov Discusses Ilya Samsonov
Sports Express: Orlov Discusses Caps First Round Elimination
By Diane Doyle