Green apologizes to team for rough night
The last thing Capitals defenseman Mike Green wanted to do on Wednesday was re-live the dreadful first period of Tuesday night’s remarkable 6-5 shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It was during that first period that 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.
“I just apologized,” Green said when asked what he said to his teammates. “The boys understand. We go through this as a team sometimes. The way we responded was good. We’ve got each other’s backs and that’s what it’s all about. It’s a great group of guys.”
Green’s first two penalties – a high stick to the face of Valtteri Filpulla and a tripping minor on Ondrej Palat -- led to the Lightning grabbing a 2-0 lead. He was the lone defenseman back on a 2-on-1 that resulted in Nate Thompson’s goal to make it 3-0 and then he caught J.T. Brown with another high stick, which ultimately resulted in his 10-minute misconduct for complaining about the call.
“I gotta watch my stick,” Green said. “It was frustrating, but it is what it is. I had some time to cool down and then I went out there and worked hard. That’s all I can do.”
Capitals coach Adam Oates wondered after the game if Green’s poor start had something to do with his preparation and he addressed the issue with Green on Wednesday.
[RELATED: Oates to speak with Green about rough start]
“The things we talk about are always private,” Oates said. “What I can say is that as a coach one of the things you watch is if a guy makes one mistake or two mistakes or three mistakes, does it lead to five, to 10, to 20? Is there something in his game we’re trying to watch for?
“Don’t put any extra pressure on yourself by being in the wrong spot.”
On two of the three penalties, Green was chasing a forward from behind. Oates seemed to be suggesting that if he was in a better defensive position, he may not have taken those penalties.
Green stayed out of the box the remainder of the game but that didn’t stop him from easily surpassing his career high in penalty minutes in a game [seven] and becoming the most pealized Caps defenseman in a single game since Bryan Muir in 2006.
“There’s nothing you can do that’s going to make him feel any better, especially when they score two goals off of them,” Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer said. “You could definitely see and sense his frustration out there. Those high sticking calls are tough calls.
“Our PK has been struggling as of late and maybe that made that much worse.”