The Washington Capitals are in a tail spin, and Mike Green is one of the few guys that can help the team pull out of it before hitting the ground. While they’ve won their last two contests, they’re still in 11th in the Eastern Conference and have been among the tougher to figure out teams in the early stages of 2013-14.
Alexander Ovechkin is going, but the rest of the forwards have struggled a bit to find their groove. Mikhail Grabovski hasn’t had an impact and has been dropped to the third line, while it took Martin Erat several games to start posting some points.
That’s where Green comes into play. While he does have five assists on the season, this is a guy who once scored 31 goals in a season. He’s only a shade of that player now, but stumbling onto some old habits might not be such a bad thing for the electric defender. When he’s not injured and not second-guessing himself, Green is incredibly dangerous.
A confident Green is capable of putting up some big totals for the Caps, but we haven’t seen that player around for a while.
Seeing him put some distance between himself now and that idea of himself will be key for Washington moving forward. He probably isn’t ever going to breach 70 points again, but he’s still talented. He can still fire the puck as well as any other blueliner in the league and can make clean passes on the power play.
Unlike players such as Erat and Grabovski, Green has been in Washington for a while. He’s suffered the ups and downs that the club has gone through. Which should be all the more motivation for him to find that kill switch and start getting after it. Getting benched in the third period of an important and tied hockey game should get him going.
Green has been a staple for Washington for a number of years, and if he doesn’t take offense to that and get fired up then he may be a lost cause after all.