As the regular season begins to draw nigh, day by day, the time has come to predict and begin to take a look at what the Caps and their fans can expect from each player on the roster. Today's player is star defenseman Mike Green, who will begin his seventh season in the organization this fall.
Recap of Last Season: His campaign marred by two separate concussions in late January and early February, Green was limited to only 49 games last year, during which he was far from his regular offensive stud self. Tallying only eight goals and 16 assists, the two-time Norris Trophy nominee struggled with consistency and just never got his feet off the ground. This was especially apparent when it came to the power play, which was awful all year. He was able to return for the playoffs, however, and added a goal and five assists in eight playoff games; I would go as far as to say he was actually a bit of a bright spot in another disappointing postseason. For my full post-season analysis of Green's 2010-11, click here.
Expectations for this Season: Now that the Capitals have three very good puck movers and one good puck mover in addition to that on their back end, Green is not going to need to shoulder all of the offensive duties among defensemen anymore. He will be able to concentrate both on his already good and improving defensive skills such as hitting and blocking shots because of this, which will make him a more well rounded defenseman. Just because he won't have to do all of the heavy lifting on offense, however, doesn't mean he won't do a good amount. He'll still be a force. To read more about what Green can bring, and why he's so good, click here.
Playing Time: Defensive pairing B; power play unit B; penalty kill unit B. I expect Green to see most his even strength ice time on a pairing with new acquisition Roman Hamrlik, as well as his power play time. On defense, his increasing skills warrant consistent time on the penalty kill, which I think he will get with Jeff Schultz.
Projections: 74 GP, 19 G, 31 A, +19 rating, 22:24 ATOI.
The next season preview will feature Nicklas Backstrom.