Feb 20, 2012, 1:45 PM EST
Easing oneself into the lineup after major surgery is a pretty standard NHL routine.
That said, Mike Green wants none of it.
The Caps blueliner made his return to action in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Tampa — his first game since Jan. 17 — and was pleased with how his surgically repaired abdomen responded after 14:14 of ice time.
So please, in fact, that he asked head coach Dale Hunter for more ice time.
“Fourteen minutes felt like four minutes for me,” Green told NHL.com. “I told [Hunter] I want to play more, that I feel good, so we’ll see.”
Green said the sports hernia surgery corrected a longstanding issue with his skating stride and that he felt improvement “almost immediately” after going under the knife. As such, he wants to jump right back into a full-time role, likely due to Washington’s place in the Eastern Conference standings (10th place, 63 points.)
“For the longest time before the surgery, even though I wasn’t sore, I didn’t have my skating stride,” Green said. “I couldn’t skate as well as I used to.”
Hunter dressed seven defensemen for the Lighting game — Green, Dennis Wideman, Karl Alzner, Roman Hamrlik, Jeff Schultz, John Carlson and Dmitri Orlov — with Carlson (22:51) and Alzner (20:39) leading the way in terms of ice time. The Caps head coach said he might employ the same seven-man unit against Carolina tonight.
- Report: Salary cap ‘may be around’ $70 million next season 14
- TGIF: Five NHL games to watch this weekend 3
- Report: Laviolette a candidate to replace Capuano 19
- Sharks say Fleury was ‘shaky’ and ‘fighting it’ in 44-save victory 52
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) 57
- Seguin (concussion) cleared to play tonight 0
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ 89
- Will the Rangers use a compliance buyout on Richards? 10
- Malkin (lower body) to miss tonight’s game versus Sharks 20
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ 60
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ (89)
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ (60)
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) (57)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (53)
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)