Photo: Bruce Bennett
Hockey fans were rightly worried about Brooks Orpik following his collision with Cal Clutterbuck on Monday night. Despite Barry Trotz’s assurances that the hit was “not as bad as it looks,” many feared Orpik would be sidelined with a long-term, lower-body injury.
That doesn’t seem to be the case. Barry Trotz confirmed on Wednesday that Orpik is a game-time decision to play at the Winter Classic. Orpik will take warm-ups with the team at Nats Park.
Based on the video below, sent in by reader Patrick N., Orpik seems to have somehow escaped significant injury.
That’s Orpik, following treatment at KCI, practicing his skating and breakout passes with Caps training staff.
He’s striding with both legs, favoring neither, and making crossovers without any visible problem.
Trotz also confirmed the absence of any significant injury.
Trotz on Orpik's knee: "Structurally there's nothing wrong with him…if he's not playing tomorrow, he's playing the next one for sure."
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) December 31, 2014
If Orpik is pain-free, he might play tomorrow.
Orpik sees more ice time than any Caps defender but John Carlson– both overall and during the penalty kill. He’s been slightly outpossessed this season (49.7 percent when adjusting for score), but he’s fared better so far than some analysts have feared.
With Orpik at the practice facility on Wednesday, defensive pairings looked like this:
Alzner – Niskanen
Hillen – Green
We’ll keep you posted on any updates.
Update: Here’s another video from Patrick. This time of Brooks doing pass-and-shoot drills.
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