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Green thrilled with Caps coach Oates’ system

Mar 28, 2013, 2:51 PM EDT

Mike Green AP

The way Capitals defenseman Mike Green describes it, Washington’s coaching saga in recent years mirrors that of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and coach Adam Oates is just right.

“It’s a balance between playing strong defense and still being able to create offense,” Green said in a CSN Washington report. “That’s really what we needed. We had polar opposites the last couple years and we’re at a point now where we need one direction.”

Oates’ tenure with the Capitals hasn’t gotten off to a great start, and there’s a good chance Washington’s five-season streak of making the playoffs is about to come to an end.

Still, Washington has gotten better as the season has progressed and Green admires Oates’ willingness to stick with his system through the bad times.

“With the amount of games he played in this league, he knows that changing things up is more of a mental stress on the team and just causes more confusion,” Green said. “He’s consistently stayed with the same system throughout the whole season and that has really helped us, especially right now.

“This is the time where we need to be confident and have our coach at an even keel and he’s been outstanding.”

Meanwhile, Oates thinks highly of Green as well and wants to see the blueliner apply that balanced approach of offense and defense to his own game, according to the Washington Post.

Oates thinks Green can develop into a Ray Bourque-style of player — one who holds his own defensively while still putting up big offensive numbers.

To that end, in what has been referred to as the Ray Bourque rule, Oates doesn’t want to see Green behind the net in the offensive zone.

“When I played with Ray, that was always Ray’s philosophy. His job was to get to the offensive zone and contribute on the offensive blueline,” Oates said. “You know, you’re not a forward, you’re a defenseman.

“At the end of the day, you’re still a defenseman. And it’s more important for us to have Mike available for those 27 minutes handling the puck than it is for him to be behind their net.”

Washington is in the middle of a three-day break and then they’ll start a road trip in Buffalo on Saturday.

  1. brianforster - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    such terrible timing for a green article, still pissed at him for that awful turnover vs the islanders. UGHHH

    • sfischer1967 - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      Laich was partly culpable in that fiasco as well…just sayin’…

  2. mp1113 - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Agreed. He handled that puck great. Right to Tavares.

  3. sjsharks66 - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Says the man who has never played a full season under the previous coaches, due to injury.

    *poking fun*

  4. 950003cups - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Oates was a PP specialist. Caps are (somehow) the top in PP% in the league. Oates will instill the rest of his plans at next seasons training camp. Be happy he had enough time to get the PP working.

    NOTE: The Devils didn’t grasp his PP plans at all. We outright sucked.But that’s been the case no matter who’s been our coach.

  5. blackfoot11 - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Glad to hear Green and the boys like Oates and his schemes. They have improved their play, established an awesome PP, and finally have some line continuity. However, Tuesday night against the Isles was the second time this season they made a run to a game below .500, only to lose in a disappointing fashion to the same team the denied them on the first time. The inconsistenty play when they can least afford it is killing their post-season hopes.

  6. capsfan19 - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    Sigh yea that seriously was all you greenie on that game winning goal…

  7. blastardo - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Laich was a major part of that fiasco. His tired play placed Green and the Caps in an awkward position resulting in a goal against. You can’t afford to give a speedy team like the Islanders an opportunity like that.

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