According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik has reached out to injured Toronto Maple Leafs defender Roman Polak.
A weird sequence between Orpik and Polak ended the veteran Maple Leafs defenseman’s post-season. Although all the details of his injury have not yet been disclosed, Polak will require surgery and certainly won’t be skating again until at least next season.
Polak has been relegated to cheerleader for the remainder of Toronto’s Playoff run, and his presence on the ice will be missed. A veteran shutdown defender with over 600 games of NHL experience and 51 Stanley Cup Playoff games under his belt, the 30-year-old has been a driving force both on the ice and in the locker room for the Leafs.
Orpik is himself a gritty, veteran blueliner, and he has immense respect for Polak. He reached out to his fellow defender, praising his character and emphasizing the seriousness of the injury, saying: “I don't think I've ever seen him stay down”.
While Orpik has been a controversial figure at times, but it should be clarified that the hit that took out Polak was clean, the injury resulting from it is bad luck and not the result of malicious intent.
Fortunately for Toronto, their blueline depth will get a bit of boost with the return of defenseman Nikita Zaitsev from a concussion.
With the series tied at one game apiece, Game 3 between the Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs will take place Monday April 17th at the Air Canada Centre.