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2014-15 Rink Wrap: Mike Green

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From Alzner to Wilson, we're taking a look at and grading the 2014-15 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2015-16. Next up, Mike Green.

Clyde Caplan

Japers' Rink Player Card (click for a hi-res version, and a glossary of terms used in this post can be found here; data via NHL.comwar-on-ice.comGeneral Fanager and Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com):

Green Card

Green pairings

Green usage

Green's Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage (2013-15):

Green Rolling CF%

Green's HERO Chart (via Own The Puck):

Green HERO

Green's Past Eight Seasons (via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com; click to enlarge):

Green HA

Key Stat: Green averaged just 19:06 of ice time per night, his lowest since his first full NHL season of 2006-07.

Interesting Stat: Despite leading blueliners in average power-play time, Green finished the year with just a single power-play goal.

The Good: The 2014-15 season was easily Green's best campaign in the last five years - and the reasons behind that success aren't hard to find. For starters, it was also one of his healthiest seasons, as the oft-injured blueliner missed just ten games all year. More importantly, he was playing for a coach who (unlike his predecessor) didn't try and rein in Green's natural offensive talents and instincts; in fact, not only did Barry Trotz try to put Green in a position to succeed at both ends of the ice, but in doing so he also likely helped Green stay healthy in the first place.

The result? His most productive offensive season since 2009-10, with 45 points on the year... a far cry from his career high of 76, of course, but his best mark since and the second-most among Caps' blueliners. That total also put him into the top-20 among NHL defensemen, tied with Duncan Keith and Shea Weber (each of whom played more games over the course of the season). And while he had his usual success with the extra man - his 16 power-play assists and 17 power-play points led all Caps' defensemen, as did his average ice time of 2:45 - he also did pretty well at even strength, with 19 assists and nine of his ten goals (as well as a Corsi-For percentage of 52.38, highest among the Caps' top-six defensemen).

More impressive is the fact that he did all of that while (usually) paired with a partner well below his talent level, whether it was Jack Hillen, Tim Gleason or any of the call-ups over the course of the season.

The Bad: Green's overall numbers on the power play were decent, but the fact is that he still had just a single power-play goal while averaging the most minutes per game with the extra man, and playing on one of the best power-play teams in the League. He hasn't necessarily been lighting the lamp as consistently as he once did on the power play, but that one goal is still his lowest output since 2006-07.

His biggest struggle, however, came in the playoffs, where he recorded just two points in the first round and then nothing else. For comparison's sake, that's half of his offensive output from the last time the Caps were in the playoffs two years ago... in twice as many games, and with much more favorable zone starts. It also happens to be the same number of minor penalties he took in Game 7 against the Rangers - one of which led directly to New York's game-tying goal, which (indirectly) led to the Caps losing the game and the series. That of course is not to say that he cost them the series (because that was definitely a team effort), but it was pretty bad timing and not the best way to play what may  have been his last game with the Caps.

A simple look at Green's HERO charts above would tell us that he's better suited to a role as a top-four defenseman, and not where Trotz slotted him in on the team's third pair - but it's worth noting that he likely doesn't get those numbers without being in the relatively sheltered role in which he was placed at the start of the season. That's neither good nor bad, really, but it is interesting to note as the Caps - and Green - make their decision as to what to do this summer.

The Video:

The Comic:

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The Vote: Rate Green below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.

The Discussion: First and foremost, do you see Mike Green being a member of the 2015-16 Washington Capitals? If so, what kind of contract do you see him signing to stick around - and what kind of contract does he deserve? Do you think he and/or the team are better off parting ways this summer, or would his absence leave too big a hole on the blueline? How much do you think his reduced role on the team play a part in his improved numbers? And what would it take for you to give him a "10" next year?

Green