Defenseman Brooks Orpik had a maintenance day on Monday, missing the Capitals’ practice. Washington Coach Barry Trotz said Orpik is “probable” to play in the team’s game against Calgary on Tuesday night.
“We’ll see where he is tomorrow,” Trotz said. “He felt much better. Just got a little bumped up in the last game. We gave him a maintenance day. He was thinking about coming out. … I anticipate him skating tomorrow and then he’ll tell me where he’s at after tomorrow’s skate.”
Orpik skated 16:29 in Washington’s 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, and he was a plus-one with three hits. The team was off on Sunday. Orpik has missed just three games this season, and not due to injury; he had a leg infection. Through 68 games, he’s skated an average of 17:37 per game, a third-pairing blue-liner who also plays on the penalty kill.
But with Washington having already clinched a playoff berth, has Trotz considered resting the 36-year-old Orpik in some games before the postseason?
“A little bit,” Trotz said. “But I’m going to leave that up to him. He takes care of himself probably better than anybody on our club. When it comes to fitness and what he puts into his body and how he trains and how he prepares for games, I don’t think there’s anybody who matches him in that.”
If Orpik can’t play, Nate Schmidt would likely be in the lineup on a pairing with Kevin Shattenkirk. Schmidt was in the lineup for two games last week when Shattenkirk was suspended, and scored a goal his last game in the lineup.
“I was talking to Schmidty out there today, and he’s done a really good job when he came in there,” Trotz said.