Two-time Stanley Cup champion Brooks Orpik had an okay Friday night. In Washington’s win over New Jersey, Orpik played 18:20 and put two shots on goal. Plus, he earned a $250,000 performance bonus for playing in his 40th game of the season. With his $1 million base pay and his payment from Colorado, Orpik is now effectively made whole after last summer’s buyout.
That invites reasonable questions and doubts about how the team might use him going forward. In a league growing quicker and more finesse-driven, Orpik, 38, is neither. But criticisms and condemnations of his play this season have often missed the mark. Orpik has put forth a solid outing in 2018-19, and his play is nowhere near the worst of Washington’s problems.