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Green “a hundred percent” certain he can pile up points next season

Jul 17, 2012, 1:27 PM EDT

Mike Green AP

Capitals defenseman Mike Green is confident he can rediscover his offensive touch after signing a three-year, $18.5 million extension.

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.”

Nobody could’ve expected Green to produce at the same level he did when the Caps were running and gunning. Alex Ovechkin didn’t. Neither did Alex Semin. Ditto for Nicklas Backstrom.

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.

  1. ferrytales1 - Jul 17, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Thats all well and good, Green, but I can’t afford to keep you again this season after being burned two seasons in a row.

    • polegojim - Jul 17, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      I’m 100% confident he can too… it’s called dogging it until you get the ‘big deal’.

      Which again lends to my thought on ‘pay for performance’ not ‘promise to perform after getting paid’.

      • kitshky - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:46 AM

        Im confused … wouldn’t dogging it until you get the big deal pretty much guarantee that you don’t get the big deal?

        If ya question a guys work ethic I’d be worried about him after he got the big deal…

      • polegojim - Jul 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        @kitshky —- EXACTLY!

        But… that’s precisely what happened here and others.
        “Give me a raise and I bet I’ll play better…”

      • babykaby - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:44 AM

        Let’s see, that’s how players are paid in the NFL……no,…. the MLB…….no,…… the NBA……that would be a no. Accept it, major league players in any sport are paid for the possibility of what they might accomplish. Andrew Luck and RGIII were just recently signed for hefty sums and they have yet to play a game.

        Considering the sums that have been paid out during the NHL free agency, Mike Green is not being overpaid. Anyway, I’m happier with over paying Green than I would have been over paying Dennis Wideman. At least Green has proven he can do it in the past, Wideman has only proven he can get burned.

      • polegojim - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:18 AM

        Thank you for precisely proving my point with every word

  2. theawesomersfranchise - Jul 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Piling up points isn’t the problem Mike, staying healthy and being a responsible defensive player is the problem.

    • jpelle82 - Jul 18, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      “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.”…..yet did not win the Norris either year. if i were a caps fan i would care less if he puts up 70 pts, the caps were early exits both years in the playoffs because they played no D. if i were a caps fan i would rather him learn how to shut someone down, you are paying him shutdown money

  3. sjsharks66 - Jul 17, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Let’s hope he can make something happen. With the contract he received yesterday, he better haha

  4. wethog66 - Jul 17, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Hey, Greenlife, don’t let your mouth write checks your body can’t cash.

    As a Caps fan I hope Green does put up more points next year, but I don’t see him returning to his old self. I think after injuries, surgery, and a dose of maturity, Green is going to finally find that comfort zone where he provides offense when needed, but is more consious and efficent in his own end.

  5. Bliss Fortress - Jul 17, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    It looks like Green has a red & pink swirly tail in that pic above, and that the bespectacled fan to Green’s left is envious of it.

  6. capitalspearljam - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    please mike just stay healthy

  7. norseman81 - Jul 17, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    He is great…when healthy but, I don’t see him playing out that contract in Washington

    • ravenscaps48 - Jul 18, 2012 at 4:14 AM

      I see him playing it out in Nashville……… See where I’m wanting to go with this?

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