CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Mike Green
HtWt: 6-1, 207
Penalty Minutes: 12
Average Ice Time: 21:02
Contract Status: Restricted Free Agent 5.25 million cap hit in 2011-12
Strengths: Despite back-to-back injury-plagued seasons that limited him to 81 of a possible 164 games, Green is still one of the NHLs most talented and dangerous offensive defensemen. But until this season he was considered a defensive liability. Under Dale Hunter, Green was asked to concentrate on the defensive side of his game and although his numbers suffered, he and Roman Hamrlik combined to make a reliable pairing in the playoffs behind Karl Alzner and John Carlson.
Weaknesses: Is there an injury Green has not been forced to deal with over the past two seasons? After playing no fewer than 68 games in his first four seasons with the Caps Green has been sidelined by head, ankle and abdominal injuries and missed a total of 50 games this season. On the bright side, at the end of the season Green said he was feeling the best he has in years.
Memorable Moment on the ice: On May 5, Green rifled a game-winning, power-play goal past Henrik Lundqvist with 5:48 remaining in the third period, sending the Capitals to a 3-2 win that knotted the Eastern Conference Semifinals at two wins apiece. The Verizon Center exploded after the goal and Green was beaming afterwards. Its good to know I can still score, said Green, who leaped into the glass as the sellout crowd rocked the Red. Its good to get the win, bottom line, whether it was me or someone else.
Memorable Moment off the ice: For a player headed toward restricted free agency, Green sounded like someone with a vested interest in the future of the Capitals when he met with reporters following the season. This is a great organization, a great city and I believe that were going to win a Cup here and I want to be a part of it, he said. Weve been improving each year, especially this year, and I feel like were close. Were going to win it. Its just unfortunate that it wasnt this year.
2012-13 Expectations: Greens past two seasons 31 points in 81 games are a marked departure from the previous two 149 points in 143 games. But with Dennis Wideman likely to sign elsewhere, he is the Caps best offensive defenseman and will be counted on to hit the 60-point mark or better next season.