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Orpik off IR and ‘excited to get back in’ vs. Carolina

Dec 27, 2013, 12:44 PM EDT

Brooks Orpik Getty Images

Brooks Orpik has been activated from injured reserve and was a full participant at Pittsburgh’s morning skate on Friday, likely to return to the lineup for tonight’s affair in Carolina.

“We have seven healthy defensemen,” Orpik said, per the Penguins’ Twitter feed. “We’ll find out who the coaches put in, but I’m excited to get back in there.”

Orpik took the morning skate paired with Deryk Engelland (who is eligible to return from a five-game suspension), and looked ready to play in his first game since the Boston/Shawn Thornton incident on Dec. 7. The 33-year-old rearguard suffered a concussion that night — after Thornton tripped him to the ice, then punched him — and has missed the last eight games, during which Pittsburgh has gone 7-1-0.

Prior to getting hurt, Orpik was enjoying a highly successful campaign. He had seven points through 31 games and was averaging 21:30 TOI per night.

Penguins forward Tanner Glass (broken hand) was also activated from IR today, and will draw into the lineup tonight on a line with Zach Sill and Craig Adams.

  1. bsfan77 - Dec 27, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Keep your head up Orpik. Maybe you will learn your lesson and stop trying to take peoples heads off. Have fun thisyear because the Penns wont be resigning you!

    • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      Typical comment to be expected from another dirtbag Bruins fan. Your advice would be better served for your own team, starting with Savard, Horton, Marchmallow & Ericksson; they are the ones that can’t skate with their head up. If your players can’t take a clean hit, maybe they shoud consider soccer.

      I apologize for being redundant on the dirtbag Bruins fan reference.

      • bsfan77 - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        All I am saying is that if the Orpik hit had happened to one of your Pitt players, you would be screaming suspension. I am not a dirtbag. Nor are most Bruins fans. NHL players in general need to smarten up. To many head shots this year already. It is a rough sport as I know because I play. I like fighting and hitting in the league but to many people are getting hurt this year due to bad hits.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 27, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        One of my Pitt players? I’m not a Pitt fan, but I do love good hockey and hard, clean hits like the one Orpik delivered on Eriksson. I never want to see a player get hurt, but that aspect is part of the best game on ice. It wasn’t a bad hit.

    • bakedbees - Dec 27, 2013 at 7:20 PM

      Hope he’s not back too soon as all the defenseless players will be keeping their elbows high to block his cheap shots and shatter his glass jaw…gimme a break greenmountingboys

  2. bsfan77 - Dec 27, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Karma on Dupuis. Keep breaking legs in so called “clean” plays. Maybe the league should suspend Crosby for his hit on Dupuis. Lol

  3. steelers88 - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    It’s good to see Brooks Orpik back on the ice. A player shouldn’t have to answer the bell for every hit he makes. Especially a clean one.

    • titansbro - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      legal? debatable. clean? absolutely not. shoulder directly into his face while jumping into the hit.

      • joey4id - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:43 PM

        its old time hockey. part of the game is what they say. just like fighting.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        If it were a hit as you describe, then the league would have done something about it.

        The FACT is, as clearly evidenced by the video, a shoulder squarely planted on a guy’s breastbone is clean and legal all day long.

        Either you haven’t seen the video or you’re just another whining Bruins fan, crying and defending Thornton’s thuggery.

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Well looks like the ECHL guy will be back in the line up tonight…gotta love Disco Dan!!!

  5. bobwsc - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    did they install a backbone and some guts while he was out?

    • joey4id - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      Yep. Took them from Thornton in exchange for grey matter. 😉

    • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      I believe that’s what he used to lay out Loui when he dropped the hammer on her.

  6. bruinpred - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    All players should have to answer the bell for needless non-strategic hits designed solely to inflict punishment and/or cause injury, even if they’re deemed “legal”.

    • erbaker67 - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      Orpik committed to the hit and Eriksson never saw him coming. If Eriksson had played the puck, this wouldnt be a story. Im not saying its Erikssons fault but that is no different than any of Kronwalls hits. Was it a penalty on Orpik? Yes. Should it have been? Yes. Was it dirty? No. Was it Neal kneeing Marchand dirty? No. Was it Thornton skating to Orpik, putting him to the ground and hitting him twice dirty? No. Take your blinders off.

    • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      It was very strategic to take Eriksson out of the play and then the game. If Loui is too much of a lightweight, as is apparently the case, then he shouldn’t attempt to play in the NHL.

      • drewzducks - Dec 27, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        Or he could head to Montreal and be fitted for their standard bleu, blanc and rouge skirt.

    • joey4id - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      😅 I can hear it now. “Pittsburgh penalty to number 44 Brooks Orpik 2 minutes for not answering the bell.”

  7. titansbro - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Shoulder directly into Eriksson’s face while also leaving his feet. This isn’t debatable. It’s dirty.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=orpik+eriksson&client=firefox-a&hs=mJJ&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=F8q9Uq2YObOzsQSvm4HoDA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=664#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=EpuxlErJFQ79yM%3A%3B-sGEIOi8OuqttM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fthenosebleeds.nextimpulsemedia.netdna-cdn.com%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2013%252F12%252FORPIKERIKSSON-HIT-SLO-MO-TNB.gif%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fthenosebleeds.com%252F2013%252F12%252Fbrooks-orpik-destroys-loui-eriksson-with-open-ice-hit%252F%3B658%3B371

    • joey4id - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      Bruins players have to keep their heads up. You think Orpik’s hit was bad…

    • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      Shoulder directly into Loui’s chest. The video is very clear on that hit, and you’re right; it isn’t debatable.

  8. Stiller43 - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Are you blind? Its shoulder to shoulder and he leaves his feet AFTER contact

  9. steelers88 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    The only reason why Eriksson got a concussion was because he hit his head on the ice.

  10. pensfan1 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Hockey is violent by nature, much more so than football with a tradition of fighting. Throw a punch in football and you are kicked out of the game. Throw one in hockey and it could anything from nothing, to a 2 minute minor for roughing, to a game misconduct. Where that line is drawn lies with the on ice official. How it actually gets dealt with is up to off ice officials way after the fact and the impact is gone and the drama and debate begins. While I can sympathize with both Orpik and Thornton and the entire cast of characters from this game, all players have to understand the violence of the game and that they are susceptible to hits and damage from anywhere at anytime. It is unavoidable, especially as their career goes on. They can’t plead to “unfairness” later when history says they will not complete a career without lost time due to injury, self-inflicted or otherwise. They can’t plead to a moment of lapse when they know a hit will at some point happen.

    Nine suspensions in eleven games recently. Keep this up and benches will be down to all AHL guys to play the NHL game. I agree the goons need policing but on ice isn’t the answer. The league needs to respond in a non-arbitrary manner. Suspend game for game for a concussion with lost pay. Suspension for 10-15 games doesn’t seem right for a player that could be out for the season. Small price to pay to get one up on the opposition. Small sacrifice for standings. Make the fine match the crime and maybe players will think about how the rules apply to them before they act.

    • pensfan1 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      And that means Thornton would be back after 8 games and not out for 15. The reverse happens as well. Small sacrifice by Pittsburgh to get Thornton out for a long time. I think this was wrong and I’m a lifelong Penguins fan. The competition can stay – the random application of rules interpretation and arbitrary disciplinary action can go.

      • pastabelly - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        At this point, Thornton is really on his last legs with the Bruins and the suspension only hurts him and not the team. Once everyone is healthy, it will be hard for the Bruins to send Spooner back. As much as I hate to see this suspension, it’s a blessing in disguise for the Bruins.

        As for Orpik’s questionable hit on a player recovering from a concussion, it looked like the hit was designed to hurt or injure more than it was to stop hockey play. Orpik should have dropped his gloves rather than acting like a weenie. It would have kept the game on balance. Of course, Thornton didn’t even go back a second time until after Crosby’s dirty play on Marchand, which was followed up by an even dirtier knee by Neal. What Thronton did was wrong. It just wasn’t unprovoked. The Bruins are obviously in the heads of the Penguins after the playoff sweep and there is little doubt that this is part of the response.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        If Eriksson were “recovering from a concussion”, as you claim, then he shouldn’t have been on the ice. That’s just more crying from Boston. That hit most certainly stopped a play, no question about that. Eriksson should have kept his head up rather than acting like a figure skater.

      • bsfan77 - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        And Orpik should learn how to take a punch. If those punches really knocked him out he shouldnt be skaying anymore. Hits against the boards are heavier then the punches he took.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        bsfan77, we know you’re a knuckle dragging dope, you don’t need to keep confirming it.

  11. khar9 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Can nhl players skate with their head up ?

    • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      Apparently not in Boston.

  12. csilojohnson - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Glad hes back. Wouldve given the headline to Glass though. As much as I love a good, clean open ice hit. Glass has been the more consistent player this season.

    • jpelle82 - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      yes…but that wouldn’t have made the bruins faithful crawl out of their caves with their clubs in hand like they have today

  13. greenmtnboy31 - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    I took a moment to look up the term – blind bias.

    It is defined as – a Bruins fan who claims Chara’s elbowing Paciorety into the stanchion was clean while at the same time whining that Orpik hit Eriksson in his glass jaw, all while ignoring the obvious video evidence on both.

  14. bsfan77 - Dec 27, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Chara’s hit was not elbowing. If it was, he would have been suspended. It was a hit that forced the Habs to redesign the area he was hit. Orpik’s hit was high, not to the chest, but clean. Boychuk hits that way all the time, but the player sees him coming and is a straight up body hit. Watching the replay of Orpik’s hit, you see Ericsson’s head move first as the shoulder hits. I was at that game and saw it happen. Both teams and the refs should be ashamed of the way things went down. Again, I am in no way defending Thorty’s actions.

    • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 27, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      Chara’s hit was clearly elbowing and that doesn’t mean the league automatically reviews it and issues a suspension. It was a late, intentional, cheap hit when the puck was 30 feet down the ice. That’s why he got a major & a GM. The fact that a suspension wasn’t issued is one of the more obvious examples of why the NHL lacks integrity on these issues, and why it will continue to be a second rate league.

      Take your blinders off and watch this video, at the 1:54 mark, and try to say he didn’t elbow him with a straight face; you can’t. If you can’t see and admit the obvious, you just confirm your a knuckle dragger.

      Orpik hit Eriksson in the chest, that’s why his head moved first in a whiplash motion before he goes down and hits his head on the ice. Then, the first move by the Bruins is pylon Chara going after Kunitz and getting the cheap retaliation penalty, because Boston can’t take a clean, hard hit without going in a frenzy. If it’s part of hockey and they’re so tough, why is their first move to goon it up after a clean, hard hit?

      Both are clearly shown on the replay videos.

  15. bsfan77 - Dec 27, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Are you blind greenmtnboy? Chara’s forearm is against his head until he hits the poorly placed pylon. From watching the play, Chara didnt put him into the pylon. Hockey is fast and they came up on it really fast. Def not an elbow and I think we are watching the same video. Maybe you have maple syrup in your eyes. Stick to college hockey. Cant you marry your cousins up there? Last time I checked, my knuckles dont come close to the floor.

  16. bsfan77 - Dec 27, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    If that was any other rink, we wouldnt be talking about it.

  17. benrob99 - Dec 28, 2013 at 4:24 AM

    Boston = trash

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