After missing almost one year and a half, Dmitry Orlov is back in the Washington Capitals’ lineup, and it seems that he’s back to his own shape. The former 2009 second round pick is now in the final year of the two-year extension he signed in 2014. In this translated interview, originally appearing on the popular Russian website Championat.ru, Capitals defenseman Orlov talks about getting back from injuries, playing with Nate Schmidt and playing in Canada.
* For the original Championat.ru article by Alexander Govorov, click here.
– In a previous interview, Evgeny Kuznetsov told that you try during practices to play like the game against Vancouver.
– Of course we do try these plays during practices, this is why Zhenya [Kuznetsov] was able to get the pass. Something goes through during the games, something else does not. We keep on working on ourselves, and if the results are good, it looks like we’re heading to the right direction. About that pass, to Kuznetsov, well, it was just luck. We had luck on our side, that’s important in hockey. It will be a long season, it’s good that we are winning now. The most important thing now is winning and get some points.
– How do you like playing on the third pair with Nate Schmidt?
– I think that we play well together. Earlier we played together in Hershey, I can say that he’s a great guy and a great player. I think that we are a good defensive pair.
– You missed 17 months for your injuries. How hard has it been to get back to practices and games?
– Frankly speaking, I don’t think about the fact that I missed 17 months. I simply try to be as valuable as possible for my team in each game, to improve my play and get better in any component.
– Do you have any plan for this season?
– I can’t say that I set myself any goal for this season. I simply missed hockey a lot! I want to play, win and be valuable for the Capitals. I really think that the Caps will reach the playoffs. I am crazy for it, I’ve played in Washington for five years already and I am yet to play in the playoffs. I really wish we’ll fight for the Stanley Cup. The whole team wants it, we’re working together towards this goal.
– What can you say about Vancouver as a team and Vancouver as a city?
– I’m in Vancouver for the first time in these five years and I can bravely say that it’s a beautiful city. It’s very pleasant to play here, it’s Canada after all, and the fans loudly support the team. We like to play in a true hockey atmosphere. Here Pavel Bure played for long time and his jerseys is hung on the roof. Of course he was one of the top Russian players all-time, therefore the game had a little bit of a special meaning.
– Do you feel a significant difference between American and Canadian fans?
– Hard to say. Of course in Canada, people watch more hockey, they follow the teams more and there are more analytic showings. If a Canadian team plays bad, there will be a lot of pressure on them by the press and fans. I feel like in Canada playing is harder, but it’s hard to judge. But I can say that it’s always pleasant to play in front of a full crowd.
– The different time zone makes it hard to follow the KHL?
– It definitely makes it hard. When the KHL games are played, we’re busy with practices or meetings. When I have some free time, I try to see some highlights and follow the results. I follow Metallurg Novokuznetsk, it’s my home club, there are a lot of players I know there. Of course I wish them best of luck and hopefully they’ll get some good results!
– Alexander Ovechkin during an interview told that the first period against the Blackhawks was an example of how to play hockey. What should you do to constantly play that way?
– First, we should follow our coach’s directions and listen to what he says. It’s important to minimize the number of mistakes in our own zone and don’t lose the puck on the blue line. Generally speaking, we’re always trying to do that. Simply sometimes it’s “our” day, other times it’s not. We need to continue working on ourselves and try to win even when we don’t play that well. It wasn’t easy against Vancouver. We started well, then in the second period we lowered the tempo and the Canucks managed to tie the game. Luckily enough, we scored the second goal and we won the game. I think all will be good for us.
A professional hockey writer and translator. Loves Russian culture, language, and hockey. Reachable on twitter @AlexSerenRosso