By Igor Kleyner
Orlov returns! (Photo credit: Sweetest Hockey On Earth’s Tim Stough)
Playing at Verizon Center on December 6th, an unfriendly shoulder was planted under Dmitry Orlov‘s chin, resulting in an upper body injury that would keep him away from the game he loves for the next three months.
On Saturday night, Orlov was finally back in action– playing for the Hershey Bears against the Norfolk Admirals. Less than a minute into the game, Orlov hoisted the puck over the glass, earning a delay-of-game penalty. Not the start he was loooking for, but — as he tells RMNB- Orlov was just happy to be back in action.
How serious was the injury, and was it hard to come back from it?
Frankly, I don’t even want to talk about it. I am back to playing hockey, and that’s all that matters to me right now!
Did you feel nervous when the game started? Is that maybe why you had that delay of game penalty called against you?
I wasn’t really nervous – either before the game, or when it started. It was just a coincidence – I was unlucky trying to get the puck out of our zone. And then on top of that, we let one in while I was in the penalty box. I was just trying to clear the puck out, but miscalculated slightly – and the puck ended up over the glass.
While you were injured, your Bears teammate Tomas Kundratek surprised a lot of people with his play for the Capitals.
I am not at all surprised by his success in Washington. That’s how it works – someone gets injured on the big team, he gets a call and a chance to impress! Great for him that he is not wasting this opportunity. I think he is working as hard as he can, he wants to play in the NHL; it’s every hockey player’s dream.
With no other Russians on the team, is your English getting better?
Yes, it’s a bit easier when there are other Russian guys on the team, but that’s not how it is right now. I think my English is improving. I would love to speak fluent English, and I am putting a lot of effort into learning the language; it’s far from perfect, of course, right now, but I think it is much better than what I had in the beginning.
Are you in any way discouraged by how things have gone for you lately?
This is my second [full] season in North America. That’s all I am concentrating on for now. I only played in 19 games so far this season. And I missed the game so much! But there is still time this season, two more months to go, so I am looking forward to the chance to work myself back into shape, to get comfortable on the ice, and to gain back my confidence. I have to admit during these three months [away from hockey] I lost a bit of what I had worked on; I need to work on getting it back.
Photo credit: Sweetest Hockey On Earth’s Tim Stough
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