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Orpik reflects on ‘outside pressure’ in Pittsburgh

Marc-Andre Fleury, Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin, Brandon Dubinsky

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Marc-Andre Fleury, front left, covers the puck as teammates Brooks Orpik, left, Paul Martin, front right, and Columbus Blue Jackets’ Brandon Dubinsky look for the rebound during the second period of a first-round NHL playoff hockey game Monday, April 21, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)


As Brooks Orpik readies to face the Penguins in Pittsburgh as a member of the Washington Capitals on Saturday - a game you can see on NBCSN, by the way - he took time to reflect on his time with the team.

Two things seemed to stand out from his interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: that he needed to leave and that the pressure to win big weighs on many Penguins.

“There was something not right last year,” Orpik said. “I guess stale is a good word. Something needed to change. I thought guys were affected by the outside pressure. There is a standard in Pittsburgh that is tough. We’d win games, and people would still be criticizing us. People were saying we were winning games the wrong way. I don’t even know what that means, if there is such a thing.”

Orpik, 34, added that the pressure “was something that wore on guys.”

He also admitted that if there’s one series that still stings, it was getting swept by the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Eastern Conference finals. The defenseman said that’s the series he’d most like a “do-over” on.

Ultimately, it sounds like Orpik doesn’t have any hard feelings toward the city or team that he spent so many years with, yet he also needed a change of scenery.

It’s a great read that’s worth your time, so click here for the full story.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins