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2015-16 Rink Wrap: Brooks Orpik

From Alzner to Winnik, we're taking a look at and grading the 2015-16 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2016-17. Next up, Brooks Orpik.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Japers' Rink Player Card (click for a hi-res version, and a glossary of terms used in this post can be found here; data via NHL.comwar-on-ice.comGeneral Fanager and

Orpik Card

Orpik's Season, Game-by-Game (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Orpik game-by-game

Orpik's HERO Chart (via Own The Puck):

Orpik HERO

Orpik and His Defensive Partners:

Orpik linemates

Orpik's 5v5 Teammates and Competition (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Orpik QoCT

Orpik's 5v5 Usage:

Orpik's With-or-Without You (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Orpik WOWY

Orpik's Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage:

Orpik rolling CF%

Orpik's Last Nine Seasons (via

Orpik HA

Previous Rink Wrap: 2014-15 (6.95 rating)

Key Stat: Brooks Orpik's regular season Score-Adjusted-Corsi-For % (SACF%) of 52.2 was the highest of any Caps' defenseman that played at least 100 minutes of five-on-five hockey.

Interesting Stat: Orpik scored more goals (three) in his 41 games this year than he scored over the previous three seasons combined (two goals in 196 games).

The Good: As mentioned in the "Key Stat" section, Orpik was a solid puck possession player during the regular season and he also looked good in a few other important percentage metrics: Shots For, Fenwick For, Scoring Chances For, and Goals For (despite getting not-so-great .907 goaltending behind him). Orpik's greatest value continues to be that when he is in the lineup the rest of the roster is able to play in their intended positions; and that's evident in the team's numbers with and without him in the lineup.

Orpik continues to be one of the team leaders on the penalty kill and is an important leader for the team as a whole. It's also important to note that while his impact isn't always quantifiable, it's largely reported from within the Capitals' locker room.

The Bad: In his second season of a five-year deal Orpik was limited to just 41 games due to a break in his femur. And while a freak injury like that likely has nothing to due with age, at 35-years-old it wouldn't be unexpected to see both play and health begin to deteriorate for a guy like Orpik - there are a lot of hard miles on those tires, and time eventually catches up with everyone, even a notorious fitness nut like Orpik.

We stated above that his underlying numbers were pretty good, and they were, but a large part of that may be due to when he was playing during the season. The Capitals played their best hockey at the bookends of the season, which happens to be when Orpik was healthy so there might some chicken-or-the-egg stuff going on here. Orpik was a (slightly) negative relative possession player, and while the team did have better numbers when he was in the lineup, that probably has more to do with roster construction (allowing everyone on the blueline to slot into roles for which they're best-suited) than Orpik's actual play.

Then came the postseason. No Capitals defenseman had a worse SACF%, was on the ice for a higher rate of shot attempts against, nor goals against than Brooks Orpik. Just like in the regular season, Orpik was limited to just half of Washington's appearances, playing in just 6 of the team's 12 games during the playoffs - Orpik suffered an "upper body injury" against the Flyers and lost three additional games to suspension after an egregious hit on the Penguins' Olli Maatta in Game 2 of the second round. Unfortunately for Orpik and the team, his hit on Maatta wasn't the most detrimental penalty that he took in the Capitals' second round loss - already trailing 1-0 in the second period of Game 6, Orpik took a double-minor for high sticking Patric Hornqvist. By the time the Caps returned to even-strength, the deficit had grown to three.

All in all it appears that Orpik's age may be catching up to him, as Brian MacLellan indicated that Orpik's role will likely be reduced moving forward.

The GIF/Video:

The Vote: Rate Orpik below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.

The Discussion: Does Orpik still have the ability to play top-four4 minutes? Do the Capitals need another left-handed defenseman?  What would it take for you to give him a "10" next year?