Tag Archive | "Mike Green"

Caps lose again as must-win games turn into losses

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Caps lose again as must-win games turn into losses

Posted on 12 March 2014 by Drew Forrester

Another night of stellar offensive play from the Capitals, who were blanked in Pittsburgh on Tuesday evening, 2-0.

It’s not closing time yet for Washington and their playoff chances, but the bartender is “flicking the lights on and off” to let you know last call is just a few minutes away.

And then, maybe for the first time ever, the organization – under Ted Leonsis at least – has an off-season of real, true soul searching to do before putting together a plan for 2014-2015.

What to do with General Manager George McPhee, who has drawn plenty of disdain over the last few years from D.C.’s hockey faithful.

Is Adam Oates the coach they thought he would be and, if not, do you make a move in his department?

And, the big question:  What’s the future hold for Alexander Ovechkin?

More importantly, the real question:  Is it time for the Caps to consider going in a new direction that starts WITHOUT Ovechkin?

Anytime I bring up Ovechkin’s name and the word “trade” in the same sentence with people who follow hockey, they look at me like I have three heads.

I always follow up that look by asking:  ”Tell me what he’s done…”

“He’s scored a ton of goals,” is always the first reply.

“OK,” I say.  ”What else?”

Go ahead…what else?

Name the players in the Caps organization who have been here alongside Ovechkin that are better for having played with him.  I’ll be here waiting.

Go ahead…go through the list of players who have been in D.C. during the “Ovie years” that #8 made better as a hockey player.

I’m still waiting.

And I’m not, absolutely NOT, saying to just dump him for a bag of pucks and some Southwest Airlines tickets.

Not at all.

What I am saying, though, is the time has come to consider a new direction for the Caps.

Please note the word “consider” there.

I watch Ovechkin night in and night out and I marvel at how one dimensional he’s become.  He’s -27 this season, which means he’s been on the ice in even strength situations for TWENTY SEVEN more goals against the Caps than for the Caps.

How has the so-called “best offensive player in hockey” (cough, cough) found himself on the ice for 27 more goals against his team than goals scored FOR his team?

That’s incredibly telling.

I’m not looking to punish Ovechkin for one season of mediocre Caps hockey, either.  Lots of other players are worthy of blame, including Mike Green, who continues to play far beneath the level a player of his contract status should.

In baseball terms, what the Caps want from Ovechkin is their own version of Derek Jeter.  A winner.  A player who makes others around him better.  Someone who comes through when the games matter most.

Instead, the Caps have an Alex with their own Alex — Alex Rodriguez.

I’ll take Jeter.

I just wish the Caps had one of those kind of players in Ovechkin.

And, since they don’t, I’ll just ask again:  Is it time for the Capitals to move in a different direction in the off-season and proceed without The Great Eight?

It’s a question worth asking.

 

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Chamblee calls Tiger a cheater — then apologizes for saying it.

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Chamblee calls Tiger a cheater — then apologizes for saying it.

Posted on 23 October 2013 by Drew Forrester

I’ve watched bits and pieces of just about every Capitals game thus far in the ’13-14 campaign and it’s becoming more apparent with every viewing opportunity that Washington is going to struggle to make the post-season.

Their defense is terrible.

If not for Braden Holtby — and let’s face it, he’s only a “good” goaltender, nothing more, really — they might not have a win yet this season.

And, if Alex Ovechkin gets a bruised shoulder in two weeks and he misses ten games, they’re not winning any of those contests.

The Caps defense is really bad.

The only two guys who give a representative defensive effort every night are Carlson and Alzner…and both of them are capable of throwing up a stinker-of-a-shift once a period.

Erskine?  Time to put him out to pasture.

Green?  Doesn’t really play defense, not sure you can even consider him a defenseman.

Olesky?  Still learning.  He might be OK actually, but he doesn’t have a mentor to look up to, that’s for sure.

The Metropolitan Division is like moving up from the J.V. to the Varsity as far as the Caps are concerned.  No more lay-ups against the bums of the Southeast Division…they have to play real hockey now, 60 nights a year.

Ain’t gonna happen, I’m afraid to say.

Not with this bunch trying to play defense, that is.

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I’ll take the Red Sox in seven games in the World Series.

Not sure why.

I just think it’s their time.

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It would appear that Tiger Woods and “his people” have more impact at The Golf Channel than perhaps Brandel Chamblee realized.

Chamblee, the outstanding analyst for TGC, essentially called Woods a “cheater” last week when handing out his end-of-season grades for the recently completed 2013 season.  He cited several rules infractions Woods was involved in over a 5-month period and likened them to an episode of his back in grade school when a teacher of Chamblee’s cited him for cheating on a test.

The analyst never said the words “cheating” in his column for Golf.com, but he might as well have.

Earlier on Tuesday, Chamblee defended his piece and his accusations about Woods and the rules issues he ran up against…that lasted until about 8pm on Tuesday night when Chamblee sent out a series of five tweets that apologized – directly – to Woods.

He was adamant that the apology wasn’t forced by The Golf Channel or Golf.com, but the timing certainly looked odd if you ask me.

Calling someone a cheater in golf is the absolute worst thing you can do.

For the record – in my opinion anyway – Woods is NOT a cheater.

As Seve Ballesteros once told Paul Azinger at the 1991 Ryder Cup:  ”Cheating and not knowing the rules are two totally different things.”

That said, I still contend that Tiger should have withdrawn from The Masters last April after his Saturday rules snafu where he took a bad drop on the 15th hole.

But — like Seve said:  Cheating and not knowing the rules are different.

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Washington Capitals Take Big Risk With Big Investment in Mike Green

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Washington Capitals Take Big Risk With Big Investment in Mike Green

Posted on 16 July 2012 by andrewtomlinson

The Washington Capitals are taking a big risk by signing Mike Green to a reported three-year $18.25-million dollar contract, as the defenseman has yet to show he can play at a high level for multiple seasons.

It is no secret Mike Green was at one time a face of the Capitals’ franchise. A founding member of the “Young Guns” quartet — a Capitals marketing campaign, not a new boy band — Green has broken the NHL record for consecutive games with a goal by a defenseman, earned the nickname “Game Over Mike Green” and been a Norris Trophy candidate. Several injuries and largely inconsistent play have made him anything but a lock to be a productive defenseman for the rest of his career though.

Green declined to sign is qualifying offer of five-million dollars from the Caps, but him walking away was something everyone knew would not happen. With the Caps letting Dennis Wideman walk to the Calgary Flames and an already thin defensive core, they couldn’t let him walk away or they would risk failing to field a competitive team. It is not as if they were out of options though and the one they chose, they may regret going forward.

Saddled with a concussion, ankle and wrist injuries the last few years, Green is becoming nothing but a question mark for this team. After starting out white-hot to start the season, Green went down after taking a puck to the face and never regained his form. He started out with three goals and three assists before the injury and after, he had just one assist in February, March and the handful of games in April. He may have contributed two goals to go with two helpers in the playoffs, but altogether his totals from last year do not justify the size of the contract he got.

Using CapGeek.com to look at Green’s cap-hit, quickly you find out he is being payed a similar amount of money as players head and shoulders better than him. Comparable hits include Brett Burns from the San Jose Sharks, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith from the Chicago Blackhawks, Dion Phaneuf of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins. During his three year stint as an offensive powerhouse from the blue line, Green might have deserved the same money as the players previously named, but not after the last two he has had.

When you talk about Green being overpaid, it isn’t an indictment on his ability or skill set, but instead on his ability to stay on the ice to use it consistently. Between 2006 and the end of the 2009-2010 season, Green was one of the top defenseman in the league. His stats have to come with a sort of asterisk though, as the team he played on was the definition of fire-wagon hockey. In the last two season, with a return to a defensive system, not only has Green only put up 31-points, but he also a paltry plus-11.

Perhaps most concerning about all of those stats, is it has come in only 81 games over two years. Considering an NHL season is 82 games long, it is not a good sign Green hasn’t even played the equivalent of one season over his last two. Recurring nagging injures and a few discipline problems have kept him in and out of the lineup. A guy cannot be defined by just two years of his career, but Green has only played a full season once in his seven years an NHLer, which is not good.

It is his consistent inability to stay on the ice that really makes this deal a head-scratcher. If you are the Caps why not head to arbitration, the worst case scenario is he earns more money for one year and you make him earn the long term contract next season. Now though, the team is linked to him for at least three years when they had other options.

Perhaps most puzzling about the extension is the Caps have a player in John Carlson ready to step in to the role currently occupied by Green shortly. Even though Carlson regressed a bit last year, the young hard shooting d-man plays the exact same game as Green and in at least a year should be ready to take over for Green. It seems feasible then, that Washington could have signed him to a shorter deal, especially since Green only wanted a two year deal originally.

Moving forward Washington has to live up to the decision it has made and while they may have a lot of cap space now, as they start to retool the roster, the space occupied by Green might be something they wish they could use. If he stays on the ice and comes back to form, Green’s deal is a steal and gives Washington flexibility, but if his career is any indication of his future, it looks like he might not be a risk worth taking.

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Capitals re-sign Green to three year deal

Posted on 16 July 2012 by WNST Staff

FROM PRESS RELEASE…

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Mike Green to a three-year, $18.25 million contract extension, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. Green will earn $6 million in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and $6.25 million in 2014-15.

“We are pleased to re-sign Mike Green to a new contract,” said McPhee. “Mike is one of the best young defensemen in the National Hockey League and is just entering his prime. He will continue to be a key part of our team moving forward.”

Green, 26, recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) and was a plus-five in 32 games with the Capitals last season. He finished the regular season ranked third on Washington in time on ice per game, skating an average of 21:02 per contest. Green missed 47 games due to injury in 2011-12. The blueliner added two goals and two assists as well as a plus-five rating in 14 postseason games with the Capitals, ranking second in points among Washington defensemen and tied for second on the team in playoff plus/minus.

The Calgary, Alberta, native has collected 251 points (82 goals, 169 assists) and a plus-62 rating in 398 career NHL games, all with Washington. He is one of just two active defensemen (Erik Karlsson) in the league to have registered a 70-point season and is the only active defenseman to have recorded two seasons of 70 points or more. Since the 2007-08 season, Green ranks fourth among NHL blueliners in points (236), second in goals (79) and his 0.77 points per game lead the league. The 6’1”, 207-pound defenseman is a two-time member of the NHL First All-Star Team and is a two-time Norris Trophy runner up. He was named to his first NHL All-Star Game in 2010-11 and was a finalist in back-to-back years (2010 and 2011) for the NHL Foundation Player Award, which is given to the player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community.

Green currently ranks seventh all-time in points by a Capitals defenseman and sixth in goals. His six overtime goals rank second all-time in Capitals history behind only Alex Ovechkin (12) and his plus-62 rating ranks tied for 12th. He is one of only three Capitals blueliners to have recorded 70 or more points in a single season (Larry Murphy, Kevin Hatcher and Scott Stevens) and one of just two defensemen to have scored 30 or more goals in a single campaign (Hatcher).

Green was originally drafted by Washington in the first round (29th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He won a Calder Cup championship with Hershey of the American Hockey League in 2006 and helped the team reach the finals the following year (2007). Green won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2008 World Championships, recording the most points by a defenseman (12) while being named to the tournament all-star team. Green was named to the NHL Young Stars roster in 2006-07 after being named to the AHL All-Rookie Team in 2005-06 while with Hershey. Green spent a little more than four seasons with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (WHL) and helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2003 U-18 World Junior Championships.

 

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