After beginning the year zero for eight on the power play, the Capitals burst out of their goalless drought Tuesday night with two goals in five opportunities. Nicklas Backstrom may be the most important player on the Capitals’ power play, according to the CSN poll between periods last game, but some love needs to be given to the point men. When John Carlson and now, Dmitry Orlov get shots through and feed pucks accurately to Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals power play is virtually unstoppable.
Tuesday night, Dmitry Orlov delivered a perfect hip check to Matt Duchene. The hit lit up both Duchene and social media, garnering nearly 4,000 retweets on the NHL’s Twitter account in 24 hours.
On Wednesday, Orlov spoke about his highlight-reel play with local media. The Russian defenseman was quick to show concern for the Avalanche forward, saying “I think it’s good that [Duchene] didn’t get hurt and was still in the game… and that we win that game.”
Orlov’s full comments on the hit are below.
As you may have heard, Dmitry Orlov laid a massive hip check on the Avalanche’s Matt Duchene Tuesday night, sending the center flying through the air. In fact, Duchene completed a full flip.
The entire hockey community was excited by Orlov’s clean hit except for one person: Matt Duchene.
Dmitry Orlov delivered what will likely be the biggest check of the season on Matt Duchene in the first period. As Duchene cut to the middle of the ice, Orlov stepped up and knocked the Avs forward head over heels. CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Craig Laughlin called the crunching bodyblow the “best hit I have seen in the booth in 25 years.
A photo sequence of the bodycheck just hit NHL.com and you have to see this.
In the first period, Dmitry Orlov had the hit of the year, sending Matt Duchene head over heels. But he wasn’t done yet.
Later in the period, the Russian dynamo fixed all of the Caps’ power play woes, authoring a brilliant slap pass to Alex Ovechkin. The Russian machine one-timed the puck past Semyon Varlamov, scoring his first goal of the season.
Over the past four seasons, the power play has been the lifeblood of the Washington Capitals.
Since 2013, nearly one-fourth of the team’s goals have been scored on the man-advantage. Impressive regular season numbers and Alex Ovechkin’s resurgence, led by his one-timers from the Ovi Spot, have all benefited greatly from Washington’s power play firepower. This year, however, one of league’s perennial top units is off to a slow start. Through two games and eight opportunities, the normally deadly Washington PP has come up with nothing.
“We’re leaving a lot on the ice,” John Carlson, who anchors the point on the first power play unit said after Saturday’s win over the Islanders. “For our skill level, our talent, we should have more goals than we do.”
With just over a minute remaining in the second period of the Caps’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Pens, Evgeni Malkin found himself in all alone with Braden Holtby, with enough time to make a sandwich and have half a cup of tea. Malkin, as the world’s best players do when given glorious chances, scored to give the Pens a 2-1 lead as the second period wound down.
There were a couple decisions that led to Malkin’s opportunity. The two main parties involved were Dmitry Orlov and TJ Oshie. Which player is more to blame for the goal depends on how you read their decision-making. Let’s take a closer look.
Only a few hours remain until the puck drops for the Capitals’ first game of the regular season. After their most recent second-round playoff exit, a summer of speculation ensued. The most nebulous question: How does this team
finally make a deep playoff run?
While there’s no definite answer, RMNB’s own Pat Holden, Elyse Bailey, Spenser Smallwood, and Chris Cerullo sought to answer a few questions I posed about the Caps’ chances at a Cup. See what they have to say, and, as always, feel free to argue with them in the comments.
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