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Caps’ Green sees himself as a ‘more developed’ player now

Aug 28, 2013, 2:55 PM EDT

Mike Green Getty Images

The player who always seems to stand out on the Washington Capitals’ blue line is Mike Green. His prolific offensive skills back there make him a player for opposing defenses to watch. His own defensive abilities have often come under fire, however, and sometimes with good reason.

Four years ago, he missed out on making Team Canada’s Olympic roster despite being in the midst of back-to-back 70-plus point seasons. While Canada went on to win gold then, Green is back vying for a spot on the 2014 team and tells Katie Carrera of The Washington Post he’s a well-rounded player now.

“I think I’ve developed a lot as a player. After I wasn’t invited I worked hard to develop my game so that I would be looked at for the next Olympics. That’s where I’m at,” Green said. “I think that I was a little one dimensional before being just an offensive defenseman and I’ve really been concentrating on keeping my plus-minus up and playing strong defense.”

Plus-minus hasn’t really been an issue for Green in the past as his offense would help buoy his defensive miscues. Last season he was a mere minus-3 in plus-minus.

If there’s anything that’s vital for the Caps, however, it’s that Green stays healthy and in the lineup. Say what you will about his defense, but there’s no questioning they’re a better team with him out there. His power play abilities alone make him a vital weapon.

Besides, if the Caps are in need of a shutdown pair of defensemen, they’ve got John Carlson and Karl Alzner to do that work for them. They’ve been pretty good at that the last two seasons.

  1. fivetozeroingame7 - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    bwahahaha

    • ravenscaps48 - Aug 28, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      Toolbag.

      • fivetozeroingame7 - Aug 28, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      • lowenni - Aug 28, 2013 at 7:39 PM

        @fivetozeroingame7
        You realize that John Erskine is fully responsible for the goal in that video, right? No one here is talking about John Erskine. This article is about Mike Green. Personally, I find your consistent trolling of every Caps article really humorous (and somewhat pathetic) because of how hypocritical you are. Yes–the Caps lost 5-0 in Game 7. The Rangers then fared no better by getting utterly embarrassed by the Bruins in 5 games (whom the Caps beat the year prior, by the way). Your team is no better off than the Caps. Once the Rangers actually win something, go ahead and say whatever you want.

  2. jpelle82 - Aug 28, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    man i wish people would stop lumping carlson in with alzner when they talk about a shutdown pair. you put alzner with just about anybody and there’s your shutdown pairing. if it wasnt for an explosion by ovechkin and backstrom in april carlson wouldve been a minus player two years in a row…he was only +1 going into march and a lot of their bad start was his fault among others. carlson is overrated, he’s weak on his stick, soft in the corners, and loses his guy in front way too often. the caps played better when they split carlson off the pairing with alzner last year and it could be attributed to their team’s turnaround. surprisingly alzner did better with green and carlson actually played decent with erskine. i think it was in late january or early february, carlson had a couple dreadful games and got demoted – caps improved. at least with green you can expect disappointing defensive play, people need to open their eyes and actually watch carlson play – see the first 30 games last year as evidence along with 2011-2012.

  3. vbcaps - Aug 28, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    i would agree he makes some bad plays at critical times.

  4. watermelon1 - Aug 28, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    Still sucks at defense… Which is sad only because that’s his main purpose.

  5. lowenni - Aug 28, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Strong defensive play was never meant to be Green’s calling card. I never see this much criticism with Erik Karlsson’s defensive game, instead we praise him as one of the best defenseman in hockey. Is Mike Green the next Zdeno Chara? Of course not. Is he supposed to be? Of course not. That being said, what makes him a special player are his elite offensive abilities. Mike Green is never going to be a shutdown defenseman and nobody should be expecting him to be. Caps fans who have watched him closely the past few years should be able to tell he has indeed developed his defensive game. It isn’t flawless, but his decision making has drastically improved.

  6. pensman29 - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Bro he’s an obvious troll just ignore him.

  7. canadianguest - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    I’m surprised Mike Green was invited to the Hockey Canada Olympic camp. He is a great talent offensively. Of course he is not expected to be as good as Chara defensively, but he not only isn’t as good as Chara, but Green and Chara are polar opposites when it comes to defense. Maybe that’s a little too critical, but lets be real, Green is not a lot of help on the back end. Sure Karlsson isn’t great either, but he’s at least passable as a defender. Maybe Green is the reason Methot got an invite?

  8. capsfan19 - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Thanks lowenni! I agree the carlson alzner pairing last season was terrible. Carlson would get burned on his own blueline and then lead to a breakaway.
    I think greenie has really come a long way. He’s gotten hurt alot, but he’s also gotten tougher.

  9. thecrabcakestate - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    He’s much better now than anyone will ever give him credit for. Defense has grown by leaps and bounds. Not a shut down player by any means but that’s not what’s asked of him.

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