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Re-Capsule: Mike Green

by Mike Vogel / Washington Capitals
For the second time in as many seasons, Caps defenseman Mike Green averaged better than a point per game in 2009-10. In doing so, Green becomes the first NHL defenseman with successive seasons of a point per game or better since Hockey Hall of Famers Al MacInnis and Raymond Bourque each did so in 1992-93 and 1993-94.

Green totaled 19 goals, 57 assists and 76 points to lead all NHL defensemen in all three categories. He also led all rearguards with 10 power play goals and his plus-39 was second in the league among blueliners. Green has now led all NHL defensemen in goals for three straight seasons and in points for each of the last two campaigns. He has 23 more goals and 27 more points than any other NHL defenseman over the last three seasons.

During the regular season, Green never went more than two games without recording a point. He recorded three point-streaks of eight or more games; no other NHL blueliner had one.

Green led the Caps in scoring in the month of November with 13 points (one goal, 12 assists). His 19 goals accounted for more than half the total of the entire Washington blueline corps for the second season in a row.

Green was remarkably consistent throughout the season, playing 13 or 14 games in four of the season’s seven months, and totaling 12-14 points in each of those months. He also put up eight points in five February games and four points in four April contests. Green totaled 25 first-period points, 23 in the second period, 25 in the third and three in overtime in 2009-10.

When Bruce Boudreau took over as the Caps coach on Nov. 22, 2007, Green was a 22-year-old defenseman who had totaled six goals and 22 points in 113 NHL games. Green scored the Caps’ first goal under Boudreau, and he has come into his own since. In 204 games since Boudreau took over, Green has scored at a rate of nearly a point per game (65 goals, 133 assists for 198 points).

Green skated an average of 25:28 per game in 2009-10, ninth among all NHL skaters. His average of 5:03 per game in power play ice time was third among all NHL defensemen, trailing only the Islanders’ Mark Streit and Pittsburgh’s Sergei Gonchar.

Like several of his teammates, Green was dissatisfied with his postseason performance, and is itching to make amends for it next spring and next season.

After scoring two goals in his first career Stanley Cup playoff game in 2008, Green has scored two goals in 27 postseason games since. 

“As a player, I take full responsibility of my role,” says Green. “Not scoring and not producing is something I need to do. And I didn’t, so I take responsibility for that.

“The tough part for me is that it takes 82 more games to get another opportunity. And that’s a long time.”

With fellow 2004 first-rounder Jeff Schultz, Green helped form a top blueline duo for the Caps this season and hopefully for several more campaigns to come.

Green is under contract with the Capitals for the next two seasons.
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