Brooks Orpik has never been a guy to bite his tongue and when it came to looking back on his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins he didn’t hold back.
Orpik spoke with Pittsburgh radio host Joe Starkey about growing up in the Penguins organization and playing for some really bad and really good teams. While winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 was the highlight, coming up short so many times stings and he said it wore on the team.
“I think it was more that we let the pressure get to us,” Orpik said. “There were just so many expectations, both internally and externally. I think we stopped having fun, to be honest with you. We let the external pressure seep into the room. That’s the one thing I could put my finger on. I’m sure Sid and Geno and the other guys will learn from it.”
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have been learning a lot of late. It’s been five years since the Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings in seven games to win the Cup and their playoff exits since then have each had some variety of drama attached to them.
Whether it involved Crosby or Malkin being hurt (or both at the same time), blowing big leads in a series, or seeing Marc-Andre Fleury struggle – the pressure is there for these stars to win more while in their prime.
Now it’s up to Orpik to help get in their way after signing a monster deal with the Washington Capitals.