WASHINGTON (AP) — During their back-to-back Stanley Cup final runs in 2008 and 2009, the Pittsburgh Penguins knew all about what Brooks Orpik can do. The rugged, bruising defenseman’s ability to play on the edge was a big part of the Penguins’ playoff success for a long time.
With Orpik on the other side of their series with the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh was on the receiving end of Orpik’s borderline play in Game 2. Not only did Orpik knock defenseman Olli Maatta out with a late hit to the head, but he wasn’t afraid to shove Kris Letang in the face after the whistle.
Asked if Orpik plays any differently with Washington than he did with Pittsburgh, Letang said, “Uh, no.”
“It’s part of the game,” Letang said of Orpik’s post-whistle antics. “I’m not there to judge about that. If they’re going to let that go, it’s fine. It’s going to be equal for every team.”
Orpik getting under opponents’ skin is one thing, but his hit on Maatta 4:13 into the first period should draw attention from the NHL’s department of player safety. After the puck was gone, Orpik appeared to make contact with Maatta’s head and was given…