The Key Stat: Orlov scored a career-high 12 goals in the regular season, with all but 2 coming at even strength.
The Good: Ho hum, yet another under-the-radar dominant regular season by one of the best Caps defensemen. Orlov was (yet again) a net-positive possession player with (yet again) stellar defensive metrics. This year, his pairing with Jensen consistently got matchups against other teams best players, and they did quite well. Orlov finally started getting some recognition too, as The Athletic had him as one of the top puck-moving defensemen in the NHL.
That on its own would be fine - but Orlov started producing even more offensively this year too! Finally being paired with another strong puck-moving defensemen allowed Orlov to take some calculated gambles this year, resulting in him setting career-highs for points and goals.
The Bad: All that is well and good, but Orlov (and Jensen) really struggled against the Panthers during the Caps first round exit. Orlov actually held his own possession-wise against the Panthers, but was outscored 7-3 while on the ice at even strength. Any story of the Caps knocking off the Panthers had to start with a dominant performance by Orlov-Jensen during the playoffs and that just didn’t happen this time around.
Let’s watch Orlov finish a pretty sequence against the Hurricanes:
The Discussion: What did you think about the Orlov-Jensen pair, and do you think it fully optimized two of the better Caps defensemen? Would you like to see Orlov perhaps get more powerplay time this year? Also, Orlov is a UFA at the end of the year, so would you like to see an contract extension for Orlov and if so, what would it look like? And finally, what would it take for you to give Orlov a 10 next season?
The Vote: Rate Dmitry 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.
How do you rate Dmitry Orlov’s 2021-22 season?