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2017-18 Rink Wrap: Dmitry Orlov

Regular Season
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Shot Shot Ice
Season Age Tm GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% ATOI FO%
2011-12 20 WSH 60 3 16 19 1 18 3 0 0 1 51 5.9 16:52 0.0
2012-13 21 WSH 5 0 1 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.0 14:57
2013-14 22 WSH 54 3 8 11 -1 19 3 0 0 0 59 5.1 19:36
2015-16 24 WSH 82 8 21 29 8 26 8 0 0 3 90 8.9 16:02
2016-17 25 WSH 82 6 27 33 30 51 5 1 0 0 125 4.8 19:32
2017-18 26 WSH 82 10 21 31 10 22 10 0 0 2 125 8.0 23:08
Career 365 30 94 124 53 136 29 1 0 6 451 6.7 19:04 0.0
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Ice
Season Age Tm GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% ATOI FO%
2015-16 24 WSH 11 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 5 0.0 13:18
2016-17 25 WSH 13 0 3 3 -1 2 0 0 0 0 21 0.0 21:25
2017-18 26 WSH SC 24 2 6 8 5 4 2 0 0 0 48 4.2 24:12
Career 1 48 2 10 12 4 8 2 0 0 0 74 2.7 20:57

Key Stat: Dmitry Orlov scored 10 goals this season, a career-high. In fact, save for newly-minted $64 million man John Carlson scoring 15 potstickers of his own, Dima’s double-digit campaign was the most prolific of any Capitals defenseman since 2014-2015.

Interesting Stat: Orlov is just the third-highest paid defenseman on the Capitals blue line, and at 26 years old, is only the second-youngest behind Christian Djoos.

The Good: Orlov signed a big, shiny, brand-new contract before the 2017-2018 season to the tune of $30.8 million over six years, and as we wrote then when we compared it to those of other young, firebrand defensemen, it’s proven to be a brilliant one for the Capitals and GM Brian MacLellan.

I think a lot about Jesse Dougherty’s absolutely fantastic profile this past February, highlighting then-defensive and now-head coach Todd Reirden’s master plan to “Make Dmitry Orlov One of the NHL’s Top Defensemen”.

In it, Dougherty laid out the following, as Reirden had explained it to him:

Obviously, after this season, Step 5 is no longer pending.

Playing 23:08 of TOI per game this year, the most of his career by nearly a full 4 minutes (trailing only Carlson on the Capitals), and doing it on the top pairing with Matt Niskanen, Orlov did it all, and did it extremely well.

You want power play firepower? Dima played 1:10 average TOI per game, quarterbacking the second unit. You want stalwart, stingy penalty killing? Orlov answered the shorthanded bell for 1:58 of TOI per game, and posted the lowest PK goals-against per 60 (6.3) of any Capitals defenseman.

As a threat to opposing defenses’ societies, Orlov was a Russian menace. With an offense as talented as Washington’s this past year, a smooth-skating, great-shooting defenseman like Orlov can be the matryoshka doll that tips the scales towards calamity. His 31 points, 10 goals, and 125 shots were each the second-most among Caps blueliners (again behind Carlson, obviously), and the goals and shots marks were each career-highs. Plus, his 8.0% shooting percentage led Washington defensemen.

He’s a Siberian Sniper, who, oh yeah, also blocked a career-high 116 shots (third-most on the team). And he posted a 49.6% Corsi For percentage, trailing only Christian Djoos on the blueline, while taking 57.4% of his zone starts in the defensive end as the most-taxed pairing along with Niskanen.

Basically, Todd Reirden is a Blueliner Whisperer, and Orlov is his workhorse.


Hate it Orlov it, Big Dima led the Capitals in more ways than you can shake a Sher-Wood at.

En route to lifting the Stanley Cup this Spring, Dmitry led Washington defensemen in on-ice:

He amassed 39 shots, 6 assists, and 8 points in the playoffs, each 2nd most among all playoff defensemen, all while starting just 42.15% of his faceoff zone starts from the attacking zone, making him and Niskanen the 13th most defensively utilized pairing in the entire playoffs.

Even getting the toughest assignments and staring down opposing teams’ top offensive superstars, Orlov made talented men look like lil’ baby boys.

Here’s how the regular season leading scorer for each of Washington’s playoff opponents fared against Orlov, Niskanen, and the Capitals defense:

It boils down to this: the offensive flexibility, and the defensive certainty, that Dmitry Orlov’s mature, developed game brought to the Washington Capitals is a chief reason they will forever be the 2017-2018 Stanley Cup champions.

The Bad: Orlov still makes the wrong decision sometimes. Though their frequency has been severely reduced, there are still moments when Orlov pinches to the boards to nip the rush in the bud when he should drop back safely into coverage. Those moments are infuriating, and almost always lead to odd-man rushes the other direction.

That remains perhaps the greatest liability in his otherwise fairly stout defensive game.

Oh, and the fact that he didn’t give us another one of these:

The Video:

The Charts:

Orlov’s Season, Game-by-Game (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Orlov and His Defensive Partners (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Orlov’s 5v5 Teammates and Competition (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Orlov’s 5v5 Usage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Orlov’s With-or-Without You (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Orlov’s Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Orlov’s Player Traits and Performance (chart by @RK_Stimp, data by @ShutdownLine, Tableau here):

The Vote: Rate Orlov 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: Do you consider Orlov to be the Capitals’ “number one” defenseman? Would you rather Dmitry’s game become more offensive, more defensive, or stay balanced as it is? What would it take for you to give him a “10” next year?

Other Orlov Season ReviewsPeerless, RMNB

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