Washington Capitals Report Card: Dmitry Orlov

Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov had another season where he played in all 82 regular season games.

Dmitry Orlov is next up on our Washington Capitals final report card series. In case you missed the others, here’s the list if you want to catch up: Matt Niskanen, Nick Jensen, Michal Kempny, Alex Ovechkin and Brett Connolly.

Dmitry Orlov, like his fellow defensive pair partner Matt Niskanen had a bit of a down year in 2018-19. Offensively, his numbers dipped from a career-high 10 goals in 2017-18 to just three the next season. However, Orlov is still a good set-up man and finished with 26 assists (29 points) which is just one short of a  career-high he set in 2016-17.

Although Orlov rarely scored last season there is offensive upside to him when he does heat up. That is why some Capitals fans have given him the nickname: “Scorlov”. Orlov has a hard slap shot that is effective both near and far from the goal. Sometime’s he’ll dangle and score a sick goal like he did in Dallas the season before.

Orlov’s number may be nine but sometimes these Orlov goals seem like he’s the player that wears the number eight on the Capitals. There wasn’t too much of that last season but we’ve seen some flashes of it at the IIHF Worlds with Team Russia as Orlov, Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov go for Gold.

Orlov also finished with an average ice time of 21:38. Among the blue liners, Orlov is third on the team in average ice time behind only his partner Niskanen (21:56) and John Carlson (25:04). Additionally, Orlov had 137 hits and 103 blocks.

Sometimes the defensive pairs were shuffled but it wasn’t necessarily like that much until after the Capitals lost Michal Kempny, Carlson’s usual partner on the top pair, for the season.

When Orlov and Niskanen were paired together, their Corsi-For percentage was 48.12 %in 2018-19 while their Expected Goals (xG%) was at 45.66% and 38.76% for high-danger scoring chances. This was a drop off from the year before.

During the 2017-18 season, the duo’s Corsi-For percentage was 49.17%, expected goals were 43.56%, while high-danger chances at 46.48%.

When Orlov wasn’t paired with Niskanen, his Corsi-For was 49.41%, expected goals were 56.25%, with high-danger chances at 46.11%. Numbers were compiled via Natural Stat Trick.

Grade C: While Dmitry Orlov wasn’t as good offensively as he was in the previous two years, he’s still a defenseman the Washington Capitals can count on. Everybody has down years and expect an even better season from Orlov in 2019-20.