Some years from now, when people are talking about how tough hockey players are, someone might mention Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik.
“I remember when Brooks Orpik lost part of his finger in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final — and he didn’t miss any playing time!” someone will say. And that isn’t a tall tale. Orpik revealed Wednesday to reporters when Golden Knights center Erik Haula slashed him at the end of Game 2, part of his left pinky “kinda fell off.”
Haula picked up a five-minute major and a game misconduct penalty. Orpik had his finger reattached and returned to the ice for Game 3. We’re just now hearing this story because Orpik’s a hockey player, and a finger that “kinda fell off” is just a minor inconvenience.
“It probably looked worse than it was,” Orpik said (via NBC Sports). “It was tough to look at. But the trainers did a really good job. It was never something that I thought would keep me from playing.”
Orpik and the Capitals finished off the Golden Knights in five games to claim Washington’s first Stanley Cup. The 37-year-old Orpik said the finger shouldn’t pose a problem when he returns next season, but he may need offseason surgery on an unrelated hand issue.
Orpik wasn’t the only wounded Cap on the ice in the Stanley Cup Final. Center Nicklas Backstrom revealed Wednesday he played the entire series with a broken finger. Of course, Evgeny Kuznetsov, the leading scorer in the playoffs, suffered a shoulder injury in Game 2 but returned for the next game.