Written by Clifford San Monica
Who cares if the Capitals make it into the final slot just in time for the payoffs?? As with the Lakers, all Washington figures to do if they DO make it to the second season is get bounced out of the competition by a team that gets balanced contributions from all of its players and sound positional defense from whoever’s on the ice.
The Capitals–despite Alex Ovechkin’s resurgence–still blow hot and cold because the other two pieces of their offensive puzzle (Mike Green and Niklas Bakstrom) have developed amnesia for the past three years (like the great 8 until recently) when it comes down to putting the puck in the net.
YES, Niklas is a wonderful passer, but let’s not forget that he also scored 32 goals a couple of seasons ago and has pretty much gone dark on us ever since in that regard. As for Mike Green, he still takes the wrong angles to opposing puck carriers and coughs the puck up in his own end often enough to make me scream, but for the past three years he hasn’t played up to his considerable ability on offense either–which makes his mistakes on defense that much more deplorable.
Add to that the sad fact that he NEVER plays a full schedule and ALWAYS winds up on the DL for extended periods each season and it makes me think that the Caps should cut their losses with this guy (as they finally did with Alex Semin), and trade him to a GM who thinks they’ve struck oil and gives us back a young power forward and a REAL defenseman in return.
It won’t happen. But I can dream, can’t I?? Otherwise, I think Oates should convert Green to a forward where he’ll have a broader canvas to express his offensive abilities and his defensive lapses would be more easily tolerated.
Filed under: NHL