Mike Green speaks about Capitals' Round 1 loss

green.jpgAs 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.

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    So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

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    No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

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    Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

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    There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

    Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

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    (But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)

    Lightning lament life as a .500 team

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    The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

    After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

    Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

    Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

    As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

    The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

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    They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

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    Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby


    Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

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    Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

    “Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

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    Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).