Update: The NHL’s Department of Player Safety tweeted Sunday evening that Orlov will have a disciplinary hearing by phone Monday afternoon. This is the first time in his career Orlov, who has played in 101 NHL regular season games, has run afoul of the NHL’s disciplinary system.
Original post: Dmitry Orlov’s five-minute major penalty for boarding Brayden Schenn into the corner boards changed the course of Sunday’s game.
It paved the way for the Flyers’ third-period comeback, beginning with a Jakub Voracek goal on the ensuing power play, and a 5-4 overtime win over the Capitals at Verizon Center. It could also potentially lead to a suspension for the 22-year-old defenseman.
Schenn hit Orlov behind the Capitals’ net, a clean but heavy check, earlier in that same shift and the defenseman went searching for retribution. When Schenn turned his back to play the puck in the corner, Orlov jumps into his opponent and sends him into the boards.
“I didn’t get a chance to see the replay yet, but at speed in the game [Schenn] was there. He hit him, hit him hard, it was a board,” Coach Adam Oates said. “But for me [the problem is] because you had a great game scored two goals and now’s not the time, we need to be disciplined. We talk about it all the time, that’s the kind of game that that team wants to play. We’re not.”
Replay shows that Orlov initially made contact with the nameplate on Schenn’s jersey, which resides between a player’s shoulder blades, and then drove his arms upward. Schenn also turns and clearly sees Orlov coming before he goes to make the pass.
While he was slow to get up, Schenn wasn’t injured on the play and took four more shifts in the game. But the absence of significant injury hasn’t prevented the league from issuing suspensions for boarding penalties this year.
In December the NHL’s Department of Player Safety suspended Tampa Bay’s Richard Panik for two games for boarding Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner, who wasn’t hurt on the play. It has also suspended Edmonton’s Corey Potter, Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf and Toronto’s Carter Ashton two games apiece for making the dangerous hit despite the absence of an injury.
It’s difficult to gauge what will or won’t warrant a suspension but given the league’s focus on hits from behind this year, it’s not out of the question that Orlov hears from Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s vice president of player safety.
Here’s the video: