Mike Green Begins to Prove Doubters Wrong In Washington Capitals’ Victory
In recent weeks there have been many outlets supporting the Washington Capitals in possible efforts to make a deal to send Mike Green out of town, regardless of what they get back in a deal. This general thought process is based on the fact that Green has never been an especially astute player on the defensive side on the puck and has also not been anything special with the puck since posting 76 points in 75 games during the 2009-10 season. It can be made certain that giving a guy like this 23:12 on the ice per game is a foolish proposition even if he once was a James Norris Memorial Trophy candidate.
On Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres it appeared that Green finally heard all of the whispers about his performance and potentially leaving town as he stepped his game up accordingly. Throughout a 5-4 overtime victory the defenseman was absolutely dynamic with the puck, looking to have found the spark that has been gone for the past three years overnight. The result of this was a mix of aggressive and smart plays both shooting and passing the puck with one assist and two goals, including the overtime game winner.
Of course simply bringing back the offensive side of his former self will not make Green worth the $6.083 million cap hit he will be worth through the 2014-15 season, but the game against Buffalo also provided an intriguing performance from the defender. Green wasn’t exactly a physical behemoth — he never will be — but he did show an active stick and the ability to thwart plays in the neutral zone with the help of Dmitry Orlov. The fact that the two did not let up a goal against while on the ice does not indicate an impeccable performance, but it does cement the fact that they did a good job in limiting opportunities for Sabres’ forwards.
One game will never be able to completely turn the tides for one player after nearly three years of underwhelming performance, but in the case of Green it will at least provide a good bit of confidence moving forward. It has been a long time since he was nearly as dynamic as during Tuesday night’s game, and continuing that performance will only make life easier for the rest of the Capitals organization as they look to climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.