Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik has a bit of a reputation for being a dirty player in the NHL. He certainly didn’t help his case on Saturday night in D.C.
During the first period of Game 2 between the Caps and Penguins, Orpik delivered a terrible hit on the Penguins’ Olli Maatta in the Caps’ defensive zone. The hit was high — the principle point of contact appeared to be an elbow near Maatta’s face — and came well after the Pens defenseman got rid of the puck.
Maatta was clearly shaken up after the hit and had to be helped off the ice by teammates, then to the locker room with the assistance of Pittsburgh trainers. He did not return to the game.
Orpik, 35, was punished with a two-minute interference penalty as a result. He could certainly be in line for supplemental discipline from the league as well, especially considering Maatta apparently suffered a concussion, according to his Penguins teammates.
The league will certianly review the incident and come to a decision before Game 3 on Monday, but the NHL has been known to be very forgiving when it comes to punishments in the playoffs. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of discipline Orpik will face and how he’ll respond to it. For now, though, he’s keeping his mouth shut.
Update:The NHL has reportedly suspended Orpik three games for the hit.