The Washington Capitals have already tapped the Hershey Bears for help replacing injured defensemen multiple times this season. Now they’re doing it again, summoning a player many fans have hoped would find his way back to Verizon Center sooner rather than later.
Dmitry Orlov was recalled from Hershey on Monday, and will join the team in Pittsburgh in time to play against the Penguins on Tuesday night… if that’s the plan, and considering Steven Oleksy and Cameron Schilling were already thrown directly into the fray this season, there’s no reason to think otherwise.
The difference is that Orlov is no rookie, having played in 60 games for the Caps last season. He was injured playing for the Bears during the lockout or he would have been with the big team the whole time.
His return comes at just the right time for Washington, whose mounting injuries on the blue line would be comical if they weren’t also so depressing. While Mike Green could be close to playing again, John Erskine and Tomas Kundratek are both still out. Tom Poti left Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres with an upper-body injury, so even with Jack Hillen back in the fold as of last week, the Caps are still short on d-men.
Whether Green is back or not, Orlov will be a big help moving the puck out of the back. That was a huge problem against the Boston Bruins and probably won’t get any easier on the road against the Penguins, Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers. Orlov can also dish out some hits, so perhaps he’ll help keep opposing forwards honest until Erskine is playing again too.
However he fits in, it’s just nice to get some positive injury news for a change. Welcome back Dmitry!