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.
- Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio 9
- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 13
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 29
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 17
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 8
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 13
- Report: Plotnikov paid $500K to get out of KHL contract 14
- Philadelphia signs ’15 first rounder Provorov 12
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 22
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 25
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad; Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 (74)