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What to make of report that Capitals have made D Nick Jensen available and are interested in Mike Green

What to make of report that Capitals have made D Nick Jensen available and are interested in Mike Green

Just when you thought the Capitals were done making big trade deadline splashes after acquiring Brenden Dillon from the San Jose Sharks, Sportsnet reporter Elliotte Friedman dropped some interesting possibilities in the latest edition of the 31 Thoughts podcast.

“I’ve heard that Jensen might be available,” Friedman said. “It just hasn’t worked there as much as they’d like. You just added [Brenden Dillon], and your top four is going to be [John Carlson], [Dmitry Orlov], [Michal Kempny] and Dillon. I think Washington might have some interest in [Mike Green]. Jensen’s what, extended for four years at two and a half million? That’s a big number. I just don’t think it’s worked there as much as everybody hoped so I could see Jensen potentially being moved.”

MacLellan was asked directly if he was looking to add another defenseman and said, "We have seven. We’ve got [Martin Fehervary]. We’ve got a couple guys in the minors we think we can use. I think we’re good depth-wise now."

Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that he was not interested in making any other moves on defense. Re-reading it, it does certainly leave some room for interpretation. While MacLellan does not want to add an eighth defenseman, he does not necessarily say he wouldn't make a swap. 

There is no question Jensen has not played as well as the team had hoped. He was a top-four defenseman in Detroit but has struggled since coming to Washington and now top-four right defenseman is a glaring hole on the blue line. That's a problem that's not going away with Jensen signed through 2023. The fact that the team would be open to moving him for cap space is certainly believable.

But for Green? That part makes zero sense.

If the biggest issue for the Caps' on defense is that they have two third-pair righties and no one to plug into the top-four, how does switching a third-pair right defenseman for another solve that? Make no mistake, that's what Green is on a playoff team. He's a third-pair right defenseman with offensive skills and little defensive upside. How does that help?

To be fair, he actually ranks second among Detroit's defensemen in Corsi-for percentage and third in high-danger chances for percentage. He has only three goals and seven assists, but his PDO is 0.954 so he has been unlucky this season. Plus, all stats from Detroit have to be taken with a grain of salt given how bad Detroit is.

With the power play struggling, Green could help in that respect, but really the defensive aspect is hard to get past.

Let's take a minute to consider the current state of Washington's defense. They do not have a second-pair right defenseman. Jensen has struggled there all season and the addition of Dillon does not address that. Todd Reirden said Wednesday it was possible Dillon could see time on the team's second pair which would move Dmitry Orlov to the right, but Orlov has not played well on the right every time the Caps have experimented with this. These things are an issue for the defense. Does adding Green solve any of that? No, it doesn't. You still don't have a right defenseman to put into the top four and you're still looking at Orlov possibly playing on the right.

Would MacLellan actually intend for Green to plug into the top four? What do you do with Orlov because you can't pair those two together? Does he go up or down in the lineup? Is there any scenario in which Washington is somehow made better defensively by Green's addition? Probably not.

Yes, Green may be among Detroit's better defensemen, but so was Jensen. Green would bring with him perhaps some upside for a struggling power play, but he would not solve any of the defensive questions this team is facing.

There's a nostalgia factor that leads people to believe that Green was a better player than he was and is, but if the Caps want to make an upgrade at right defense, there have to be better options out there.

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Braden Holtby sets franchise record for shutouts in blowout simulation win over Panthers

Braden Holtby sets franchise record for shutouts in blowout simulation win over Panthers

The Capitals got plenty of offense in the latest NHL 20 simulation, but they didn't need it as Braden Holtby turned aside 36 shots to become the team's all-time shutout leader in a  5-0 blowout of the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Result: Caps 5, Panthers 0

1st period

1-0 Caps goal: Evgeny Kuznetsov from Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson

2nd period

2-0 Caps goal: Nicklas Backstrom from Nick Jensen and T.J. Oshie

3-0 Caps goal (power play): Jakub Vrana from T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom

https://twitter.com/NBCSCapitals/status/1246580242438815745?s=20               

3rd period

4-0 Caps goal: Brenden Dillon from Evgeny Kuznetsov

5-0 Caps goal: Tom Wilson from Alex Ovechkin and Brenden Dillon

How the Caps won

1. Fast start

What kind of a game was this going to be? We found in just 61 seconds as Kuznetsov wasted no time to get the Caps the lead. Washington would lead the rest of the way.

Carlson charged the blue line to keep a loose puck from getting out of the zone. He passed it up to Ovechkin who made a quick backhand pass to Kuznetsov in the slot to score the goal.

2. Possession

Florida somehow recorded 36 shots on goal, but did they ever really have possession of the puck in this game? It didn't feel like it. The Panthers had trouble defending against the Caps' offense as they struggled to keep the puck out of the defensive zone and struggled to get it out once it got there.

Florida also had no answer for Washington's physicality. The Caps threw their bodies around all game long to separate the Panthers from the puck and Florida just took it.

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3. A long-awaited shutout

It's been a long time coming. Holtby had not recorded a shutout all season long and finally got one in the final game of the regular season with 36 saves. The shutout is the 36th of Holtby's career, which gives Holtby the most in franchise history, moving him one ahead of Olie Kolzig. Or it would have of course if it was not a simulation.

In the few opportunities in which Florida did manage to keep the puck long enough to set up its offense, Holtby was there and gave the Panthers no daylight with which to shoot on. 

Next game

This was the final game of the regular season. Check back with NBC Sports Washington for a simulated playoff.

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Washington Capitals Tom Wilson sends Make-A-Wish kids heartfelt message and gifts

Washington Capitals Tom Wilson sends Make-A-Wish kids heartfelt message and gifts

Washington Capitals right-winger, Tom Wilson is utilizing his newfound free time by giving back to the children of Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic.

Saturday, Wilson was featured on the charity's Instagram page delivering an uplifting message to the kids that are going through unforeseen changes due to quarantine. 

"I understand a lot of your wishes are on hold right now due to this very weird time in the world," Wilson said. "I just want to let you know I'm thinking of you."

"You guys are so strong, keep fighting and I'm looking forward to seeing you around."

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It’s FR🏒DAY! And what better way to start your weekend than hearing from our @capitals friend, @tomwilson! Just like all of us, Tom is thinking of our local wish kids whose wishes are currently indefinitely on hold and knows how strong and awesome each of you are. 💪 He's cheering on every one of our wish kids during this challenging time and can’t wait to see your wishes come true. Tom also went above and beyond and bought activities for us to send all our kids whose #WishesAreWaiting to pass the time at home or in hospital. Thanks for sharing your Message of Hope Tom, and for being a such a great champion for wishes and a winner on and off the ice! 💫💙🏆 @capitalspr

A post shared by Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic (@wishmidatlantic) on

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Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic detailed that "Tom also went above and beyond and brought activities for us to send all our kids whose #WishesAreWaiting to pass time at home or in the hospital."

A class act gesture from an even classier man. 

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