Dmitry Orlov’s Performance in 2021: Trending Upward


The 2020-21 season noticed Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov show as soon as once more that he’s a dependable High 4, even high pairing blueliner, in in the present day’s NHL. After being part of the Capitals’ greatest defensive pairing throughout their Stanley Cup run in 2018 with Matt Niskanen, Orlov’s play trailed off for a few seasons. The 2018-19 season was tough for him, probably as a result of Niskanen’s struggles that resulted in him being traded the next offseason for Radko Gudas.

Orlov has proven flashes of brilliance prior to now. He is likely one of the greatest open ice hitters within the sport, strikes the puck up and down the rink successfully, and might play a shutdown function. General, Orlov proved himself as maybe the Capitals’ greatest general defenseman this season. Let’s check out Orlov’s season by the numbers.

Recreation Rating

When you missed the submit inspecting Justin Schultz’s efficiency throughout the 2021 common season, sport rating is a metric that Dom Luszczyszyn (now with The Athletic) created to measure the efficiency of a participant in any given sport. Right here’s the stats that Luszczyszyn makes use of in calculating sport rating:

  • Targets
  • Major Assists
  • Secondary Assists
  • Pictures on Aim
  • Blocked Pictures
  • Penalty Differential
  • Faceoffs
  • 5-on-5 Corsi Differential
  • 5-on-5 Aim Differential  (you may learn extra concerning the Recreation Rating metric’s methodology right here).

Now, let’s see Schultz’s sport scores game-by-game by way of the 2020-21 common season (click on to enlarge):

The dotted line shifting by way of the middle of the road graph right here is the development line of Orlov’s sport scores. Seemingly reverse to Schultz’, Orlov began off sluggish on account of time on the COVID-19 protocol, however actually ramped up his general high quality of play throughout five-on-five play because the season went on. General, Orlov had way more excellent showings than poor ones, and that’s what you want from a high pairing defenseman, particularly one which’s relied upon closely. Listed below are Orlov’s sport scores by opponent:

Orlov feasted on video games in opposition to the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils this season. In eight video games in opposition to the Devils, he posted three objectives and two assists. In eight video games in opposition to the Rangers, he had one objective and 5 assists. Since sport scores are extremely impacted by objective scoring and assists, it’s no shock that Orlov’s sport scores peaked in video games in opposition to these two divisional foes.


Now, a have a look at Orlov’s possession charges by sport (click on to enlarge):

Traditionally, Orlov has been a robust possession participant over the course of his profession. This yr was no completely different, ending the season with a 52.5 Corsi For Proportion, and a 2.6 Corsi For Proportion relative to his teammates. Which means the Capitals’ possession marks have been 2.6 share factors increased when he was on the ice relative to his teammates. That is stable contemplating he did draw a fair proportion of top of the range competitors, however his offensive zone begin share was actually excessive at 58.3%.

Anticipated Targets For Proportion

Above is a shifting common of Orlov’s Anticipated Targets For Proportion over the course of the season. The development line can also be optimistic for Orlov, who completed with an Anticipated Targets For Proportion of 51.96%. Curiously sufficient, Orlov’s precise Targets For Proportion far outpaced expectations, ending with a 59.49 Targets For Proportion (47 objectives for and 32 objectives in opposition to throughout five-on-five play).

Charge Adjusted Plus-Minus (RAPM)

Right here’s view of the standard of participant that Orlov is, courtesy of JFreshHockey:

Orlov posted elite marks in Anticipated Targets For, Anticipated Aim Differential, Ending Proportion, and Targets For per sixty minutes of play. Orlov can stand to enhance his self-discipline on taking penalties, in addition to probably producing extra main assists, however that’s nitpicking, particularly for the reason that bulk of his ice time was with extra offensive defensemen like John Carlson and Justin Schultz.

Right here’s one other view of RAPM by way of Evolving Hockey:

General, the whole lot is above the substitute stage board for Orlov throughout five-on-five play. His wrestle in xGA/60 mirrors what JFresh’s graphic confirmed above; he may stand to enhance a bit in Anticipated Targets In opposition to, however that could possibly be as a result of his companion in his defensive pairing and different gamers on the ice.

Orlov’s energy play RAPM charges on the best facet of the above graphic could be disregarded. Orlov solely obtained about 35 minutes on the ability play this season after Justin Schultz was acquired to quarterback the second energy play unit.


Orlov is certainly one of, if not the perfect, throughout defensemen on the Capitals’ roster at present. He’ll most definitely be one of many three defensemen protected within the Enlargement Draft, and has one other two seasons beneath contract with the Capitals. Orlov is a stable veteran defenseman who can thrive in high pairing minutes, as we’ve seen within the 2018 Stanley Cup run.

General, Orlov might be leaned upon subsequent season much more, as a result of some anticipated turnover on the back-end with Zdeno Chara unlikely to re-sign and Martin Fehervary getting into the fold. Count on Head Coach Peter Laviolette to lean on Orlov extra in defensive conditions in consequence.

By Justin Trudel

About Justin Trudel

Justin is a lifelong Caps fan, with a few of his first reminiscences of the game watching the group within the USAir Enviornment and the 1998 Stanley Cup look. Now a resident of St. Augustine, FL, Justin watches the Caps from afar. Justin graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science from Towson College, and a Grasp’s of Science in Utilized Data Know-how from Towson College. Justin is at present a product supervisor at a non-profit in Jacksonville, FL. Justin enjoys geeking out over roster development and cap administration.


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