By: Pierce Brody | Follow me on Twitter @PierceBrody3
Dmitry Orlov, the Russian defenseman formerly of the Washington Capitals, was traded last week to the Boston Bruins in a move that has generated even more optimism around the NHL’s top team. Orlov is known for his physicality and strong defensive play without hampering the offense. Since joining the Bruins, Orlov has had to adjust to a new play style with new teammates, which has led to a few noticeable hiccups on the ice. A limited number of gaffes are always expected of players changing scenery midseason.
Despite some expected challenges, he has made an impressive impact on the team in his first few games. He has notched nine points in his first five games throughout the Canadian road trip, an early testament to his skill and adaptability as a player. His two goals and one assist in Calgary stood second only to Linus Ullmark’s show-stopping performance during the stolen win. If you’re into gambling, check out the FanDuel sports betting odds and futures for individual games and upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Orlov’s defensive abilities have long been a crucial part of his game. He’s a classic defensive defenseman who uses his size and strength to shut down opposing players and clear pucks with menacing physicality. His willingness to engage in battles along the boards makes him a valuable asset to this team, whose biggest defensemen include an injury-prone Brandon Carlo and regular bottom-pairing defenseman Derek Forbort.
In addition to his defensive skills, Orlov possesses a powerful shot from the point and can move the puck up the ice effectively, making him at least a threat in the offensive end of the rink. With the Bruins, Orlov has already had the opportunity to showcase these goal-producing skills more often, as they have emphasized an aggressive and creative style all season.
As Orlov adjusts to playing with his new team, he has faced a few challenges adjusting, including some costly turnovers. Fortunately, this is expected for any player in his new situation. His much tighter defensive games in Calgary, Edmonton, and at home are positive next steps in his adjustment process.
Despite the move, his positive and honest attitude has been displayed in his interviews. This mindset has undoubtedly already served him well as he continues to adapt to his new team, given his burst of points early on. Not too far in the past, Bruins fans have seen talented players struggle to find their footing early on a new team, the most recent examples being the bounce-back and breakout seasons from Hampus Lindholm, Linus Ullmark, and Nick Foligno.
The Bruins are a team that has long been known for emphasizing strong, physical defensive play. While the recent exploits of the former “Perfection Line” and the offensively-minded Charlie McAvoy buck that old persona, Orlov’s presence will undoubtedly serve as a reminder of the impressively imposing blueliners of Bruins past. As the early trade results have come in as truly encouraging, with a few bumps along the way, his hard-nosed effort that the Bruins envisioned should surely go a long way once games really start to matter.