FanPost

Welcome Back Mike Green

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Let's have a frank discussion about one of the Caps' best defensive defensemen, shall we?

Look, I know that he hasn't always put his own end first.  I know he's had some rough playoff series.  Mike Green is an easy guy to pile on.  But he has also been, in 2011-12 2010-11 [oops], an outstanding defensive defenseman.  And his return can't come soon enough. 

Here are some of the basic numbers (minimum 8 games -- sorry, Fahey and Collins):

Player

GP

GAON

TOI/G

GAON/60

SH GAON

SH TOI/G

SH GAON/60

 Mike Green

59

40

25:11

1.94

8

2:21

4.15

 John Carlson

80

65

22:37

2.16

15

2:18

4.87

 Karl Alzner

80

61

19:57

2.29

17

2:06

6.07

 Scott Hannan

54

42

20:16

2.30

11

2:24

5.09

 Dennis Wideman

14

13

24:04

2.31

4

3:05

5.56

 John Erskine

71

41

14:49

2.34

6

1:19

3.81

 Jeff Schultz

70

58

19:48

2.51

12

2:29

4.14

 Tyler Sloan

32

19

12:28

2.86

2

0:20

10.78

 Tom Poti

21

20

18:21

3.11

3

2:32

3.37

 

If someone had asked you which Caps defenseman had been on the ice for the fewest goals per 60 minutes of playing time, how many names would you have gone through before you picked Green?  But there he sits at the top of the list. 

It's true that he gets a lot of power play time, which will improve that number.  But look at his shorthanded TOI and his effectiveness killing penalties.  Green's been playing some very solid defense this year. 40 goals in 59 games for a guy who plays as many minutes as Green is really a small number.  And remember that he's missed the past month, during which the Caps goalies allowed an average of less than 2 goals overall per game.  The earlier part of the season, when the team wasn't as tight defensively, would not have gone nearly as well if Green had not been so solid.

The guy plays an average of 25 per night -- it's not uncommon to see him play half a game.  He's out there in all situations, and the end result has been that the opposition scores fewer goals when he's on the ice than when he's off.  He just doesn't get enough credit.  And with the loss of stalwart Dennis Wideman, the Caps need to shore up their blue line with someone who can play big minutes if they're going to be successful in the playoffs.

So welcome Green back, whenever he plays his next game.  You know the Caps' goaltenders will.

Oh, and he also adds some offense.  Which will also be nice.

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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