CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2013-14 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Mike Green
Position: Right Defense
Age: 28 [turns 29 Oct. 12]
Ht/Wt: 6-1, 207
Penalty minutes: 64
Average Ice Time: 22:43
Contract Status: 1 year remaining on 3-year, $18.25 million contract [$6.083333 million cap hit in 2014-15]
Strengths: Few NHL defensemen possess the speed and accuracy of Green’s shot from the point, especially on the power play, where he collected three of his nine goals and 15 of his 38 points.
Weaknesses: Green is normally one of the league’s best puck movers, but he took a major step back in that department with a team-high 65 giveaways and just 32 takeaways. Some believe Oates complicated matters by giving Green too many situational reads to make during a game and that resulted in his poor decision making. Although he led all Caps defensemen with 38 points, he also possessed their worst plus-minus ratio and his offensive production took a dramatic drop from last season when he recorded 12 goals and 26 points in just 35 games. Green also led all Caps defensemen in minor penalties with 27, which was 17 more than John Carlson, who averaged nearly two more minutes of ice time per game. "It was frustrating at times," he said on breakups day.
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Memorable Moment: On Jan. 28 in Buffalo, Green and Alex Ovechkin tore a page from 2009-10 when they each scored two goals, with Ovechkin setting up Green for the overtime winner on a 2-on-1 less than a minute into the extra period. The Caps had blown leads in each of the previous three periods and pulled out a 5-4 win.
Forgettable Moment: In the first period of the Capitals' wild 6-5 shootout win over the Lightning on Dec. 10 Green was assessed a career-high 18 minutes in penalties – a double minor for high sticking, a tripping minor, another high-sticking minor and a 10-minute misconduct -- that directly resulted in four power plays for the Lightning and a 3-0 deficit for the Capitals.
Quotable: “He’s an enigma. … He’s had a lot of [defensive] partners, but he’s also supposed to be the guiding light. He’s the veteran. He’s the guy we count on. He’s supposed to take care of them, not the other way around.” Adam Oates on Mike Green
2014-15 Expectations: In hindsight, pairing Green with mistake-prone defense partner Dmitry Orlov was a mistake and one could make the argument that if the Caps landed a reliable left defenseman, Green’s troubles would be solved. Still, one of the biggest questions facing the Capitals’ next general manager is whether to keep Green, trade him, or buy out the final year of his contract, which would require the Caps to pay Green roughly $2.1 million in each of the next two years.