The Washington Capitals already possessed a pretty deep defense before they traded for big-ticket blueliner Kevin Shattenkirk. With that addition, it’s meant that Brooks Orpik hasn’t been a guarantee to make it into the lineup.
It’s something that Orpik seems willing to come to grips with, at least according to what he told the Washington Post.
“I think you’ve got to realize that there’s only so much ice time to go around,” Orpik said. ” … It’s easy for everybody to say their main goal is to win the Stanley Cup. Well, times like this are really good tests to show if that really is important to guys, or if individual accomplishments or minutes are more important. I think that’s how you look at it.”
The Washington Post piece delves into things that tend to make judging Orpik a divisive topic: the numbers.
No, in this case it isn’t about his cap number, but instead possession stats that once shone a negative light on the hard-hitting blueliner. As it turns out, he’s actually been effective, albeit with the reduced expectations that come with being a third pairing guy.
The fun stuff comes in the way Orpik and Barry Trotz discuss his value and the value of stats.
Trotz notes that “sometimes the numbers guys don’t really play the game and don’t understand” certain intangibles. Orpik really takes the cake, however, in describing debates as “traditional people versus more futuristic people or whatever.”
You know, with “fancy stats” feeling a little long in the tooth these days, “futuristic people” has a nice ring to it. You can almost picture people scoring their latest graphical analyses to Daft Punk.