F Street Faithful
by Matthew Tate on 01/04/12 at 03:21 PM ET
With last night’s 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames, the Washington Capitals remained perfect, with Mike Green that is. Despite the fact that the Capitals currently sit in 7th place in the Eastern Conference, they are actually now 9-0 when Mike Green is in the line-up. Last night marked his first game since taking a hit from Devils’ forward Ryan Carter on November 11, 2011.
We learned last week that Green’s injury might never fully heal. As such, it became important for his reinsertion into the line-up be as gradual as possible. Hunter decided to ease the process by choosing to scratch Matthieu Perreault (Semin also scratched for injury) and dress 7 defensemen. It definitely made for some odd line combinations at time, including a shift that put Ovechkin and Hendricks on the ice together. Green spent the majority of his ice time (15:43) skating with rookie Dmitri Orlov. With Orlov regularly joining the rush, Green was able to play a bit more passively, lowering injury risk. He did see a little bit of PP time, but was kept out of penalty killing situations.
While I thought he played well in his return, I still have one major issue with his game: he holds onto the puck too long. We all have heard of the phrase “take a hit to make a play,” but Green needs to realize he can’t do that 5-6 times a game. A typical breakout with Green involves him looking for that long breakout pass, getting it away just as a defender crunches him. That was exactly what happened in the Ryan Carter incident. He waited too long, tried to avoid Carter and ended up injuring his groin. I saw nothing last night to show me that Green has successfully changed his game.
Here is Green’s stat line for the night: 15 minutes of ice time, 4 PIM, 2 blocked shots, 3 hits, 2 attempted shots (both blocked). Hopefully he continues down the right path, and can be healthy long-term. Given his history, played in only 17 of 72, I won’t hold my breath quite yet. If he does stay healthy, it should be the final move that moves Schultz out of town.
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Welcome to the home of the F Street Faithful, run by Matthew Tate. This is a go-to blog for all things related to the Washington Capitals. The F Street Faithful is 5% news and 95% breaking down the news.
In the past I have written for several other sports blogs as well as the college newspaper while at York College of Pennsylvania. I am a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania but am based out of Southern Maryland.
You can follow me on twitter @FStreetTate but I must warn that I do tweet about more than hockey. You can also e-mail me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.