Orpik's physical play a hit with Pens
For 15 magnificent seconds, Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik turned Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final into a personal showcase of mayhem.
"It was just a yard sale," Pens defenseman Rob Scuderi said. "There were guys and sticks and helmets everywhere.
"It was great to see."
The carnage started with 10:53 remaining in the third period on Wednesday night at Mellon Arena, when Orpik flattened Red Wings center Kris Draper along the half-wall in the Penguins' end.
Next came a pummeling of winger Dallas Drake into the boards behind the Penguins' net.
Seconds after that, Drake got it again in the corner to the left of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
Finally, winger Dan Cleary felt Orpik's wrath, kissing the boards and the ice about where Drake had been nailed by Orpik the first time seconds earlier.
"You might want to check him for HGH," Scuderi said of Orpik. "I think the biggest thing is I'm pretty sure all four guys went down. Usually, guys at this level are able to take a hit. They see it coming, they prepare themselves.
"It was just crazy. I've never see anything like that at this level."
Actually, Draper managed to keep his feet.
The other two were bounced around by Orpik like red rubber balls (although Scuderi again exaggerated slightly in acknowledging the "yard sale;" there was no loss of sticks and helmets).
"Orpik hit about 20 guys," Penguins forward Max Talbot said, also exaggerating but making his point all the same. "It was amazing."
The hits were a product of Orpik playing his game rather than going on a personal rampage.
He emphasized following the Penguins' 3-2 victory the need to avoid taking himself out of position in search of big hits against an offensively gifted team such as the Red Wings.
That's a distinction Penguins coach Michel Therrien had been trying for some time to convince Orpik to appreciate.
"We always knew Brooks Orpik was a physical defenseman," Therrien said. "He needed to learn when it was time to be physical."
Orpik and the Penguins will continue trying to take advantage of the proper times to punish Detroit on Saturday night in Game 4.
"You want to keep pounding them," Orpik said. "You look over there; they have a lot of older guys. They're competitive guys, but they're getting up there. You want to try to pound on them, especially if it's going to be a long series.
"You want to pound on them as much as possible."
Orpik said the Penguins are convinced a physical price can and is being extracted on the likes of veteran Red Wings such as Samuelsson (31), Brian Rafalski (34), Tomas Holmstrom (35), Kirk Maltby (35), Draper (37), Nicklas Lidstrom (38) and Drake (39), among others.
"You can see it on their faces at times," Orpik said. "Toward the end of the game, we saw (Henrik) Zetterberg (and Mikael) Samuelsson. You look at their faces, they can barely get to the bench; they're gassed. The more you can beat on them in a clean way, that's going to be beneficial later on in the series."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.