Orpik wasn’t at practice on Tuesday, and he didn’t participate in the morning skate on Wednesday, but Washington Coach Barry Trotz said the veteran blue-liner is “doing better.” As is common practice in the playoffs, the Capitals have said Orpik is “day-to-day.”
“We’ll see where he is tomorrow,” Trotz said. “I don’t predict anything, but I know he’s feeling better. I saw him last night, and I saw him this morning. The trainers are working with him, and hopefully, he’s back soon.”
The Capitals aren’t strangers to playing without the veteran blue-liner. He missed 40 games this season because of a lower-body injury, and in that span, Washington lost just six games in regulation. Taylor Chorney will play on a third pair with Dmitry Orlov on Wednesday night, with Nate Schmidt moving to the second pair with John Carlson.
But Trotz said the Capitals are missing more than just Orpik’s presence on the ice.
“There’s no question Brooks is a big part of our team,” Trotz said. “He’s a fantastic leader and a role model for everybody in that room. There’s no one that prepares as well and takes care of himself as well as Brooks does. He’s the father-figure in our dressing room, so everybody wants him back as soon as possible. But he’s doing better.”