WASHINGTON — The 2016-17 Capitals season is just three games old, but we already have a contender for the play of the year.
On Tuesday, defenseman Dmitry Orlov hip-checked Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene so perfectly the latter went skates over head and nearly back around.
The Capitals players had no issue with the play.
This is the same Dmitry Orlov who did this to an opposing player back in May. (h/t Deadspin)
Per Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post, T.J. Oshie credits the hit for sparking Washington’s three-goal win.
“It started out with Orly’s hit, and then we started rolling after that,” Oshie said, per Khurshudyan.
“It was amazing that he was able to stay on his feet there,” he added. “Typically in that situation, if a guy goes down to a knee or gets a little low, it can get dangerous, but I think I’ve only see one replay when I was out there on the bench. My reaction was that it was a good hit. You hope Duchene doesn’t land funny there, which he didn’t. It was one of the cooler hits I’ve ever seen, that’s for sure.”
Capitals coach Barry Trotz had this to say on the hit: ““Wow. You got the big whoop on the bench. That was a real clean hit, shoulder to sort of the midsection of the hit. He just lifted them. I know Duchy from Team Canada, and he can fly. He got caught there, and he actually was up in the air a little bit, so good to see he didn’t get hurt or anything like that.”
For his part, Duchene suggested the hit might not have been legal.
Avalanche Coach Jared Bednar said he watched the hit and didn’t object to it. Duchene told reporters, “I don’t really want to talk about it because I’ll say something that might get me in trouble.”
When asked whether he thought Orlov was going for his knees, Duchene responded, “What did it look like?” Duchene was then asked whether he was physically all right when he landed, and he said, “I was fine, but you guys saw it, so I shouldn’t have to say too much about it.”
Most agree the hit was legal. And the pictures to come from it are nothing short of remarkable.