Orlov and other Caps scratches look on from the press box. (Photo credit: Clydeorama)
It’s been a season of unexpected trials and disappointments for the Washington Capitals, but if there’s been one pleasant surprise, it’s been Dmitry Orlov. The young defenseman was not expected to make a permanent impact with the club this season, but after being called up on an emergency basis early in the year, Orlov simply earned his keep, becoming a mainstay even on a roster that frequently had defensemen to spare. Orlov has yet to play in the postseason, with the coaching staff so far relying on more experienced players to man the blueline, but if the Caps manage to make it past the first round, he may just get his chance.
Before the playoffs began, Orlov talked with Hockey World’s Andrey Osadchenko about about Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and his unexpected breakthrough year. I provide a translation below.
King vs. Shelley: a portrait of pointlessness. (Photo credit: Len Redkoles)
The Washington Capitals quenched their wanderlust, beginning their 15-game voyage (only 5 stops at home!) with an evening hosted by the Philadelphia Flyers. The conference-leading home team sported their explosive offensive, keeping busy the Washington goalies all night. The Capitals, except for a 40-second spurt, had precious little presence in the offensive zone. We went to overtime, but we didn’t stay long.
91 seconds into the game, Michal Neuvirth failed to track Jeff Carter’s wraparound and allowed a goal on the night’s first shot. Claude Giroux doubled down against relief-goalie Semyon Varlamov by seizing on a second chance. In the third, Marcus Johansson and Mike Knuble stormed Sergei Bobrovsky’s crease for a goal. 40 seconds later, Alex Ovechkin fed at the trough to tie it up. But in overtime, Jason Chimera gave Andrej Meszaros more than enough room to fire one home. Game over. Flyers beat Caps 3-2 (OT).
For the three of you who follow Minor League Russian Hockey, you’re already aware that Caps Defensive Prospect Dmitri Orlov has led the Novokuznetsk Bears – the minor league affiliate of the KHL’s Metallurg Novokuznetsk – to this year’s MHL Finals. But what some of you may not know, is that the starting goaltender of the team, Sergey Bobrovsky, is Semyon Varlamov’s biggest rival in Russia. And sources in Novokuznetsk tell RMNB that Bobrovsky – now free of his Russian Contract – will sign a free agent deal with the Philadelphia Flyers and will play there next year.
Though it has largely flown under the radar in America, the impact of this deal could be huge. We consider it a coup for the Flyers and it could impact the Capitals/Flyers rivalry in the Eastern Conference for many years to come. Bobrovsky, at 21, has been Metallurg Novokuznetsk’s number one goalie for the past three years, and has managed to put up extremely strong numbers this season despite the fact he has been keeping for the KHL’s worst team.
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