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Eastern Edge: The Age of the Defenseman

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Hockey News

Capitals blueliner Brooks Orpik accepts 3-game ban for 'bad hit'

Mon, 02 May 2016 16:13:18 +0000

Fitzgerald Cecilio - 4E Sports Reporter

Pittsburgh, PA, United States (4E Sports) - Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik admitted that the league's decision to slap him with a three-game ban was "fair", saying his Game 2 hit on Pittsburgh Penguins' Olli Maatta was a "bad hit.''

"It was a bad hit," Orpik said. "It was intended to be a hard hit, definitely not at his head but I don't think there is anything that you can argue that it was definitely late. I think that was pretty black and white."

"I said that during my hearing yesterday. So, I'm just disappointed. It's a split-second decision you make and I just gotta live with it," added Orpik , who spoke to Maatta , his former teammate in Pittsburgh, after Game 2.

"He's a pretty good friend so it made the situation a little tougher,'' said Orpik , who was suspended for the first time since 2006.

Orpik said he didn't do too much to defend himself during his hearing Sunday with NHL's department of player safety.

"There wasn't much arguing," Orpik said. "I told them it was a late hit and I knew that's why I was having a hearing. I don't know about an argument. There wasn't much arguing."

Orpik himself suffered a concussion in Game 3 of the previous round on a hit from Philadelphia's Ryan White, so he said the last thing he would want to do is intentionally deliver a head shot to another player.

"I was in a similar spot two weeks ago, so it's tough hearing people try to say I was intentionally trying to hit him in the head,'' Orpik said. "I've dealt with enough head and neck issues to know that was tough to watch."

In the meantime, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said they will play without Maatta for the foreseeable future.

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