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Caps defenseman Green: “I want to play more”

Feb 20, 2012, 1:45 PM EST

Mike Green

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.

  1. jpelle82 - Feb 20, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    2 mins for tripping 1 hit and 1 block, 0 shots and 0 pts for his comeback. need to see more if you want more ice time…not a bad comeback game but not a good one either. the caps and their fans act like this guy is kris letang or something. green needs to play out his mind and current skill level to make a difference on this team and justify more ice time in my book

    • letangshair - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      this mo on a vespa can’t touch my status. get off my sack.

  2. wethog66 - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Based on your evaluation of Green’s first game back in a month it is clear that your book is held together with duct tape and staples and the content in said book is written in crayon. Time to burn that book of yours.

    • bethgoesglobal - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      Pay no attention to that man. Having read through a lot of comments on various topics today these Pens fans have gotten just as bad as those generally expected from Philly- maybe worse. I clearly have been giving the fans of Pitts way too much credit as being fans of Hockey. I live in MN (that’s Minnesota for those in Pitts) I grew up in DC and will always be a Caps fan but I’m also a Wild fan. I like the Blues, the Preds, the Sabres, and others. Mostly I love Hockey. I don’t like people making ignorant, sexist, and mostly just hateful comments.
      Oh and should a certain “mrs”kunitz… read this- my hand and knee would love to “be seen” by you but they can be “heard” too.

      Anyway…Great to see Green back in and here’s hoping he’ll stick around for longer than Crosby did. Please be aware of teammates on the ice- they can be dangerous!

      • letangshair - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:02 PM

        you sound like a woman.

  3. dowhatifeellike - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    He needs to show he can stay healthy first. The Caps are going to take it slow with him because he has a history of going down again within a week of returning from injury.

  4. robertterwilliger - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    “i want to play defense”

    – what the capitals want to hear.

  5. rsl22 - Feb 20, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Caps were 9-0 with Green in the lineup this year.

    His defensive play is actually pretty impressive. People think of Green from his first three seasons and say he can’t play defense, but clearly didn’t watch him when he was healthy over the last four years. In his two healthy seasons, he had 73 points in 68 games with a +24 rating, and 76 points in 75 games with a +39 rating. Those numbers came with Jeff Schultz as his partner, and in case you don’t know this, Jeff Schultz is f-ing awful, probably the worst defenseman in the league.

    More importantly, the Caps can’t score. Getting Green will be huge to help on the PP and getting the puck up the ice. Adding a two-time Norris trophy nominee is never a bad thing.

  6. taytay099 - Feb 20, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Right now the Caps aren’t even in a playoff position so they should play him 25 minutes a night. He obviously makes the team better so there’s no point in restraining him from playing to his full potential.

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