NEW YORK – In a brutal Game 7 that featured physical play and pulled teeth, Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik had perhaps the most controversial hit of Wednesday night.
In the third period, New York Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle rushed the puck down the left side into the Capitals’ zone. Orpik stood his ground near the blue line and leveled him with a check.
Boyle’s legs were bent. Orpik’s shoulder made contact with his head, and his skates left the ice upon making contact.
Play was halted and Boyle was helped off the ice.
There was no penalty on the play. Which is the correct call, given what Orpik did on the hit and how Boyle met him. People immediately compared this to the Niklas Kronwall hit that earned the Detroit Red Wings defenseman a one-game suspension for Game 7 of the previous round; which, of course, was a hit in which he charged in from the blue line, rendering any comparison pointless.
Mike Milbury of NBC called the hit “predatory” and predicted that Orpik would have a hearing with the NHL. But then again, Mike Milbury has feelings on Orpik: