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2016-17 Rink Wrap: Brooks Orpik

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From Alzner to Winnik, we're taking a look at and grading the 2016-17 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2017-18. Next up, Brooks Orpik.

Washington Capitals v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Japers' Rink Player Card (click for a hi-res version; data via, and Cap Friendly):

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

Orpik and His Defense Partners (chart by @muneebalamcu):

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

Orpik's 5v5 Usage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

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

Orpik's Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Orpik's Last Ten Seasons (via

Orpik’s Goals Against Replacement (GAR) Components (chart by @ChartingHockey, data by @DTMAboutHeart, explained here, Tableau here):

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

Key Stat: Orpik tied a career high in games played with 79, his first time skating that many contests since 2008-2009.

Interesting Stat: Orpik registered a career-high plus-32 mark in the regular season, just two off the League lead.

The Good: Orpik tallied 14 assists in 2016-17, doubling his previous season’s total and increasing his point output from ten to 14. But the Caps don’t rely on Orpik for his offensive production, and what they did rely upon him for changed this past season, as he saw his role go from a top-four (often top-pair) spot to a third-set gig in which he and most-frequent partner Nate Schmidt excelled, with the Caps scoring nearly two-thirds of the goals and garnering better than 56 percent of the shot attempts at five-on-five. Orpik’s ice time dropped from 19:49 per game in 2015-16 to 17:47 in 2016-17, his lowest mark since 2008-09, and the reduced role suited him well, as he also posted strong possession numbers alongside late-season acquisition Kevin Shattenkirk. Granted, Schmidt and Shattenkirk were undoubtedly more responsible for propping up those numbers than Orpik was, but in terms of maximizing what Orpik can contribute at this point of his career, the Caps’ coaching staff did just that.

The Caps also rely on Orpik on the penalty kill, and he did a fine job there, posting the best underlying numbers among the team’s defenders.

All in all, after his playoff injuries last year it was encouraging to see the veteran skate successfully through another regular season and (all too short) playoff run.

The Bad: For the second season in a Washington sweater Orpik was unable to tally a goal. This year marked the fifth time Orpik has gone goalless in a season but this season also saw him tie a career high for games played at 79 and set a career high with 93 shots on goal. Despite all of these favorable metrics Orpik was unable to get his name in the goal column. His offensive misses would be easier to overlook if Orpik were more successful in the defensive zone but the 2016-2017 season represented another drop in play that ultimately handcuffed Barry Trotz against Pittsburgh.

Halfway through the Penguins series Orpik saw his number of shifts drop significantly which led to a season low 9:59 TOI in the fourth game. Orpik rarely saw less than fifteen minutes of ice this year, so Trotz’s change was noticeable. It was no surprise that when Washington made a lineup switch to seven defensemen that Orpik saw the greatest reduction in ice time.

The 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: How many more years can Orpik maintain his current level of play? Will we see another drop in production in the 2017-2018 season? What would it take for you to give him a "10" next year?

Other Orpik Season Reviews: RMNB


How do you rate Brooks Orpik's 2016-17 season?

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199 votes total Vote Now