Photos: Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports
There’s something about Brooks Orpik scoring clutch goals that brings out the best celebrations of his teammates. It happened last season when Orpik improbably ended the longest shootout in NHL history. It also happened on Saturday when Orpik netted his first career game-winning goal against the New Jersey Devils.
“If we could have gone out to the blueline to hug Brooks, we all would have if we wouldn’t have gotten a penalty,” Barry Trotz said. “I think they all respect how hard he works.”
Orpik took several seconds to process the fact that he scored. Meanwhile, the Caps lost their freaking minds. You need to see this.
Play this song for maximum effect.
First, as Orpik skated towards the bench, he was high-fived by his teammates. Karl Alzner has this excited look on his face like, “that’s my dude, right there!” Nate Schmidt looks like his middle school crush just asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance.
“I think I just blacked out I was so excited,” Schmidt said to RMNB’s Chris Gordon after Monday’s morning skate. “I was so excited! You should have seen the guys when he scored. You should have seen those shenanigans. I don’t know if they have a camera angle [of the bench.] We were jumping on each other. It was hilarious.”
Orpik’s longtime defensive partner, John Carlson, was even more excited. He’s all like “YESHHHHHHH.” In fact, this is the most excited I’ve seen Carly since he scored the golden goal at the 2010 World Junior Championship.
The next photo is right after Orpik scored. Dmitry Orlov and Alex Ovechkin engulf Brooks in a suffocating hug, making Orpik the American cheese in this Russian sandwich.
Look at Orlov. He is euphoric.
The Russian machine jumped so high, that he appeared to fly into outer space.
Finally, we end this post where it started: at the bench. Carlson chest-bumps Orpik and rubs the top of his helmet like he’s a good boy. He’s trying to get Orpik to react. He’s failing.
Finally, after some more wooing, Schmidt and Carlson slide into Orpik while he is seated. Orpik gives a wry smile.
The Capitals are close to securing a playoff spot a month and a half before the season ends. You might think the games mean little at this pint, but this is not the case. Seeing a teammate have a big moment after working so hard to come back from injury means a lot.
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