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Caps coach tells Mike Green not to worry about goals

Dec 3, 2013, 7:54 PM EDT

Mike Green AP

At the moment, the Carolina Hurricanes hold a 1-0 lead against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, so the countdown for Mike Green‘s first goal continues. Caps head coach Adam Oates just hopes that it’s not getting to Green’s head, as he told the Washington Post.

“First thing I said was, ‘That’s not a slump. Goals will come. You got nine in April,’” Oates said. “For me it’s his touches and his decisions. If you’re pressing to get a goal you’re going to skate at opportunities you’re not supposed to skate at and not wait for it at the right time, and I felt his reads were just a little off.”

It’s understandable that Green, 28, might feel a little self conscious.

He came into Tuesday with zero goals despite 62 shots on goal, the most any NHL player has without finding the net this season. Contrast that with last season, when he topped all blueliners with 12, and it’s easy to see why he might feel antsy.

Still, having a recent talk with Oates gave him a “confidence booster” that might help him do what he does best: push the offensive envelope.

“Sometimes you can forget, you retract and you go back into a defensive state, and that’s not necessarily my game,” Green said. “Get back to the things you do well and that’s what I’m on track for now.”

We’ll see if that translates to goals – or at least helping his team win – starting with today’s (in-progress) game with the Canes.

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