There was a time when Mike Green was the league’s top scoring blueliner, but questions about his defensive play plagued him. Now he’s not nearly as productive offensively and the concerns about his work without the puck haven’t gone away.
“He’s an enigma,” Capitals coach Adam Oates told CSN Washington. “Greenie’s that guy that down the stretch last year had that month that was fantastic. People want that [scoring] every night from him and I’m trying to fight him back.”
Oates doesn’t want to see Green cheating defensively to try and relive his former glory from a points perspective, but he also needs to see the 28-year-old defenseman be more consistent.
Green admitted that it was a frustrating season at times, but he pointed to the fact that he kept switching defensive partners as one of the causes for his struggles. It didn’t sound like Oates completely bought that reasoning though.
“He’s had a lot of partners, but he’s also supposed to be the guiding light,” Oates said. “He’s the veteran. He’s the guy we count on. He’s supposed to take care of them, not the other way around.”
With only one season left on Green’s three-year, $18.25 million contract, he might be one of the guys the Capitals shop around as they attempt to shake things up after missing the playoffs. Of course, Oates’ future with the team is unclear too.