Photo: Bruce Bennett
Thirty-five-year-old Brooks Orpik, the Capitals second highest-paid defenseman, will be sidelined for “a long time.” This information comes via NBCSN’s Pierre McGuire. Orpik has missed the Capitals’ last 14 games due to a lower body injury, which the team had previously characterized as “nothing serious.” Over that time, the Capitals have shot into first place in the division but also seen their 5v5 possession dip. Orpik had been skating nearly 20 minutes a night with John Carlson.
Orpik was injured against the Detroit Red Wings on November 10, leaving the game early in the second period.
During Wednesday’s rivalry night game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, the NBCSN crew– Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and McGuire –began a short conversation about the Capitals, which led to the dropping of the news by McGuire.
Pierre McGuire: Boy, Eddie and Doc, the Washington Capitals and Barry Trotz have it going on right now. Just in the inner-confidence of that team is phenomenal.
Doc Emrick: Third overall defensively in the league and they have just been marching on.
Pierre McGuire: The only bad news is Brooks Orpik thinks he’s going to be out for a long time. I was talking to Brooks last night, walking out of the arena. He did not have a positive result on an MRI that was taken by the team. That’s the only piece of bad news for the Capitals right now.
The Capitals have been coy about the diagnosis and prognosis. Mike Vogel referred to the plan only as “treatment.”
Nothing new to report on that front whatsoever. Getting treatment, hasn't skated in a few days. https://t.co/Y9kc0B2S1W
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) December 12, 2015
Meanwhile, coach Barry Trotz announced that Orpik would no longer be skating with the team.
Since I've been asked a few times, here's a transcription of the last thing Trotz said about Orpik. From Wednesday: pic.twitter.com/gpAG2dYa75
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) December 12, 2015
This is something of a shift in tone compared to earlier in the month, when Trotz said that if this were playoffs Orpik would be playing. That change must have occurred last Monday, when Orpik tried to skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. It did not go well.
Brooks Orpik just came off the ice and slammed his stick against the wall as he left. Not sure what happened, but didn't look good.
— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) December 7, 2015
Three games into Orpik’s absence, Barry Trotz discussed Orpik’s injury with the media. From Isabelle Khurshudyan:
“We just wanted to get him out there today a little bit and see where he was at,” Trotz said. “He’s coming along pretty good.”
Trotz has maintained the injury is minor, though Orpik did not practice with the team on Monday or Tuesday. After Tuesday’s practice, Trotz said that if someone got injured, Orpik would be able to step in.
“I’d love to tell you what his injury is, but I can’t,” Trotz said on Monday. “It’s nothing serious. You’re saying, if it’s not serious, then why isn’t he on the ice? It’s one of those where it just needs to heal, so it doesn’t irritate and bug him for the long haul. Once we start playing games here, we’re not going to get another break.
Thanks to friend of the blog Jess Hughes who helped me locate the conversation.
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