Jul 17, 2012, 1:27 PM EDT
Green, 26, racked up 73 and 76 points in 2008-09 and 2009-10, respectively, leading the league in scoring among defensemen in each season.
But it’s been a struggle since then. Forced to deal with injuries, combined with a coaching staff that implemented a more conservative playing style, Green’s managed just 31 points in 81 games over the last two seasons.
Asked yesterday if he can get back on track, Green didn’t hesitate.
“A hundred percent,” he said in a conference call, “and it’ll be next year.”
Green also sounded optimistic about playing under new head coach Adam Oates, who’s expected to give the Caps a little more freedom to try and create offense than they got under their last bench boss, Dale Hunter.
“What Dale expected was kind of a grinder, chip-in, chip-out kind of game,” Green said. “I respect him as a coach and I played that way and played hard for him. But at the same time I’m excited that Adam is here – actually, really excited.
“From what I heard, how he likes to coach fits my style of play and hopefully a lot of the other guys.”
In fact, it’s still unrealistic to expect Green to score 70-plus points in 2012-13. Washington will undoubtedly open it up, but Oates isn’t about to let the Caps ignore defense completely.
If Green can flirt with the 60-point mark and play reasonably sound defense, he’ll have more than done his job.
Remember, only one defenseman, Erik Karlsson, scored more than 53 points in 2011-12.
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 39
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 9
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 39
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 40
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 21
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening 54
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 58
- Wilson signs with Preds, leaving just four arbitration cases to go 5
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million 62
- He’s baaaaaack: Leafs pull a stunner, hire Lamoriello as GM (Updated) (84)
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (70)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening (54)