As much heat as Alex Ovechkin and Bruce Boudreau received (and will continue to catch) for the Washington Capitals’ stunning first round loss to the Montreal Canadiens, it’s quite possible that no one was under the French fry lamp quite like Mike Green. Much of that negative attention comes with a second consecutive Norris Trophy nomination, but either way the young offensive defenseman is often criticized for his work in his own end.
Green finally met with the media today after dodging typical opportunities on two occasions. Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post gathered some of his thoughts. Here’s a few of the highlighted questions and answers.
Q: What needs to be different so you don’t have another [letdown] in next year’s postseason?
A: I think mentally I was preparing myself for the playoffs to play strong defensively. When all season you’re an offensive-minded player, and you get criticized about your defensive play, you try to adjust to become that complete player. Going into the playoffs, I wanted to play strong defensively. And maybe that [affected] my offense.”
Q: So was there too much going on in your [mind]?
A: When that gets into your head, you tend to not do the right things at the right times. You just have to be better.
Q: What were your raw emotions after the loss?
A: It was overwhelming. You almost want to cry. It’s disappointing. [Tearing up slightly.] The way I felt after that game is something I hope I never feel again. The expectations we had upon ourselves and what happened … The tough part for me is that it takes 82 more games to get another opportunity. That’s a long time.
That 82-game gap must be interminable, something that the San Jose Sharks could relate to. In the fishbowl of a 7-game series, three games seems like an eternity yet when you compare that stretch to full season it’s next to nothing. Yet that’s what makes the playoffs nerve-wracking and brilliant; any team can seize an advantage and beat a juggernaut.
I’ll leave you with Green’s reasoning for missing the 2010 IIHF World Championships and perhaps some explanation regarding his disappointing playoff output?
Q: Tough decision not to play in worlds?
A: Yeah, it is. I would have loved to go. But I did have an injury and George [McPhee] felt that I shouldn’t go.
Q: What was the injury?
A: My wrist. … I took a slash against Columbus [April 3].
Q: Need surgery? How much did it affect you?
A: No. It didn’t affect me that much. It’s just [that] it’s not going to get better if I keep playing.
The Montreal Canadiens were a bit like Ben Scrivens (in his near-ideal state) this weekend: not always pretty, but they got the job done.
A day after Scrivens thwarted his former team in the Edmonton Oilers in a 5-1 win, the journeyed goalie was integral in Montreal scraping out a 2-1 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Now, it’s easy to scoff at two wins against two teams who are – let’s be honest – pretty unremarkable.
The Canadiens aren’t really in a position to laugh off any victory, however. That’s especially true when you consider the fact that this is their first set of consecutive wins since late November.
Even through all this frustration, certain top Canadiens stand out as keeping the team afloat. Andrei Markov hit an impressive milestone:
… While Max Pacioretty scored his 20th goal in emphatic fashion:
As P.K. Subban‘s numbers argue, Montreal’s biggest problem has been getting results from more under-the-radar players. In Sunday’s case, Scrivens delivered.
Montreal still faces an uphill battle, but perhaps a weekend like this might serve as a catalyst for a nice climb?
The Boston Bruins updated Malcolm Subban‘s condition a day after the goaltending prospect was hospitalized after being struck in the throat with a puck.
“Malcolm Subban was struck in the throat with a puck Saturday night during pregame warmups. He was transported to Maine Medical Center and was diagnosed with a fractured larynx. He stayed overnight at Maine Medical Center and was transported to Mass General Hospital on Sunday for further evaluation. He is in stable condition and will be sidelined indefinitely. The team will provide additional details when they become available.”
Awful news, although at least he’s in stable condition.
PHT will stay tuned for further updates regarding the 22-year-old.
Subban did tweet a thanks for support:
A little context makes that a little sad, too.
P.K. Subban seems confident his brother will bounce back.
Pulling Anders Nilsson didn’t stop the bleeding for the Edmonton Oilers. Instead, it really just spread the “wealth.”
The New York Islanders are up 7-1, so don’t be surprised if there’s some ugly stuff in the final frame.
Zack Kassian is an author of at least one outburst, as he was tagged with 19 penalty minutes for a display that included fighting Brian Strait, as you can see in the video above.
It’s not the only fight stemming from the blowout, either, as Eric Gryba just tangled with Matt Martin.
Could there be more?
Update: The game ended on a muted note. The Isles ultimately won 8-1.
There was a time when Anders Nilsson seemed like the best bet in the Oilers’ net this season. This … is not that time.
Less than 12 minutes into Sunday’s game, the New York Islanders roared to a 3-0 lead, and that was enough for Edmonton to give Nilsson the hook.
He allowed those three goals on 10 shots, so to be fair, that’s a pretty impressive chunk of chances (almost a shot on goal per minute).
Still, the Oilers were likely hoping to give Cam Talbot a breather, and instead he was rushed into action. Nilsson hadn’t played since Jan. 19, and he’s only appeared in three games in 2016.
As if this didn’t sting enough for Nilsson, consider the fact that he began his NHL career with the Islanders, who eventually decided he wasn’t worth keeping.