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.
- WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Lightning, Game 4 of Eastern Conference Final 6
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL 35
- All eyes on Lundqvist 10
- Quenneville opted for ‘fresh legs’ by inserting Nordstrom, Versteeg into lineup 11
- Video: Ducks hold off Blackhawks in Game 3 to take series lead 30
- (Video) PHT Extra: On Babcock, sticking to the process and housebuilding analogies 3
- Babcock predicts ‘pain’ for Leafs, who are a ‘massive, massive challenge’ 39
- Babcock wants to ‘put Canada’s team back on the map’ 47
- Flyers won’t trade Del Zotto, but ‘something will have to give’ on crowded blue line 24
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? 70
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (172)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Russia to be punished for ‘completely out of order’ actions after Worlds final loss to Canada (91)
- Report: Sabres negotiating with Babcock (82)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)