Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik took a big hit from Philadelphia Flyers winger Ryan White that left the veteran rearguard down on the ice and appearing dazed. Orpik, 35, was listed as questionable to return.
Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik missed half the regular season with a lower-body injury this season, and it appears an injury could cost him at least part of the first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers.
In the second period of Game 3, Orpik was attempting to clear the puck out of the defensive zone while the Capitals were killing a penalty when he was hit hard by Flyers winger Ryan White. Following the hit, Orpik fell to his knees and remained down on the ice. Orpik was unable to get to his feet, and was eventually helped off the ice by John Carlson and a member of the Capitals’ training staff. And though he made it off the ice, the look on Orpik’s face and his lack of responsiveness was incredibly frightening:
The Capitals were asking for a penalty to be called following White’s hit, but the officials didn’t deem the hit worthy of whistling the Flyers winger. However, it will be interesting to see how the league proceeds and whether or not it’s decided to hit White with supplemental discipline. There’s a reasonable argument that White’s hit was charging, but he does stop churning his legs, glides into the hit and doesn’t appear to leap into the hit.
Though it seems impossible to believe, the Capitals didn’t announce for certain that Orpik would be out of the game. The official word from Washington was that Orpik was being evaluated and that he was “questionable” to return. Given Orpik’s reaction following the hit, however, it seems unlikely he’ll return, and that would probably be the right call. Orpik, 35, has a concussion history, and missed eight games in December 2013 after sustaining a head injury.
In the first two games of the series, Orpik had averaged nearly 22 minutes of ice time per game. He recorded three goals and 10 points in 41 regular season contests, averaging nearly 20 minutes per outing.