The player who always seems to stand out on the Washington Capitals’ blue line is Mike Green. His prolific offensive skills back there make him a player for opposing defenses to watch. His own defensive abilities have often come under fire, however, and sometimes with good reason.
Four years ago, he missed out on making Team Canada’s Olympic roster despite being in the midst of back-to-back 70-plus point seasons. While Canada went on to win gold then, Green is back vying for a spot on the 2014 team and tells Katie Carrera of The Washington Post he’s a well-rounded player now.
“I think I’ve developed a lot as a player. After I wasn’t invited I worked hard to develop my game so that I would be looked at for the next Olympics. That’s where I’m at,” Green said. “I think that I was a little one dimensional before being just an offensive defenseman and I’ve really been concentrating on keeping my plus-minus up and playing strong defense.”
Plus-minus hasn’t really been an issue for Green in the past as his offense would help buoy his defensive miscues. Last season he was a mere minus-3 in plus-minus.
If there’s anything that’s vital for the Caps, however, it’s that Green stays healthy and in the lineup. Say what you will about his defense, but there’s no questioning they’re a better team with him out there. His power play abilities alone make him a vital weapon.
Besides, if the Caps are in need of a shutdown pair of defensemen, they’ve got John Carlson and Karl Alzner to do that work for them. They’ve been pretty good at that the last two seasons.