Veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik has missed the last four games for the Metropolitan Division’s Washington Capitals. He could miss his fifth consecutive game tonight,as the Capitals host the Colorado Avalanche. There is no timetable for his return to the lineup.
No Brooks Orpik at Caps morning skate. Will ask Trotz, but could miss his fifth consecutive game with a lower body injury.
— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) November 21, 2015
The Capitals acquired Orpik in the summer of 2014, inking the then-unrestricted free agent to a five year, $27.5 million deal on the first day of free agency. Since then, he’s been much of the same for the club; a stay-at-home blue liner with a 6 foot 1, 221 lb presence on the ice and a moderate puck-moving ability.
He missed four games last year, and coupled with an additional four missed this season could spell the downside of his career. His current contract runs through 2019-20.
The Capitals have blue line depth outside of Orpik and his $5.5M/year contract; 25 year old John Carlson has put-up 12 points in 18 games this season, and fellow former-Penguins blue liner Matt Niskanen has nine points. Karl Alzner (1-5-6) and Dmitri Orlov (0-5-5) follow them, and 20 year old Madison Bowey has already begun scoring for the Capitals’ AHL-affiliate Hershey Bears in his first pro season. Should Orpik spend much more time out of the lineup, there’s plenty of talent behind him to keep the team effectively efficient.
In addition to the chance that Orpik may not play tonight, NHL.com’s Katie Brown reports that Andre Burakovsky will be a healthy scratch for the Capitals as they take on the Colorado Avalanche.