Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey
On Wednesday night Dmitry Orlov concluded his conditioning assignment in Hershey. The Russian defender has been out all season while rehabilitating the wrist injury he suffered in the World Championship last May.
In three games with Hershey, Orlov had three assists and six shots. He seems to have his heavy, booming slap shot back. Over the weekend, Orlov tallied two primary assists on the power play, just by rifling the puck on net.
After the game, Orlov spoke to Chocolate Hockey, saying that he plans to join the Capitals in Ottawa this week.
I feel pretty good. I’m so excited to be back. I missed a lot. It was a tough time for me, but right now, so excited to be back. Thanks to Hershey. Thanks for coaches, team. I play three games here. I have mistakes. I lost a little confidence, but every game I feel better. I hope everything will be good. Next day we’ll see how it goes. I hope I play with Caps this season.
Do you think you’re ready to step into the line-up in Washington?
Like it’s not my decision to put me in the line-up. Of course I want to play, but we’ll see what’s going to happen. I think I fly tomorrow to Ottawa, visit team there. We’ll see what he say.
Do you feel confidence shooting the puck again?
Yeah! Feel better. I try to score. I had couple chances, missed it.
According the The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, general manager Brian MacLellan and other Caps officials have watched the 23-year-old in Hershey. The Capitals want to evaluate Orlov in an NHL game before the playoffs began to see what they have.
“I’d say that’d probably be the plan,” Trotz said to Prewitt. “He’s skating, conditioning seems to be pretty good. It’s a quickness in the small areas, and that’s just typical from playing on a regular basis, things happen in those small areas, you react real quickly and instinctively, where he hasn’t played a lot, so it’s not quite instinct yet. But he’s played pretty well.”
The good news is that the talented Orlov, who months ago seemed potentially like a foregone conclusion for this season, may be able to push himself into the line-up, and that should make the Caps a better team.
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