UPDATE: Mike Green Suspended
(3/9/12) Mike Green has played 10 games for the Capitals since returning Feb. 18, but fantasy owners have barely noticed. Green's point total since his comeback... zero.
So what gives? He's back playing Washington's top defensive pairing and running the #1 power play unit. His ice-time looks normal. What's the problem here?
Well, a lot of things. First, other than a few blips on the radar, Green has hardly played in the NHL in the last calendar year. Rust is to be expected, and he's basically in training camp form while the rest of the league is at its peak. As well, he hasn't had time to get his conditioning to the level it needs to be. The Caps are riding him hard, and he may not be ready for it.
Apart from Green's personal situation, Washington is also struggling to score goals as a team. Dale Hunter seems hell bent on
winning losing with defense, and the Caps have managed only 13 goals in their last 10 games and been shut out three times during that stretch.
We're not going to 100% rule out that Green can become a factor in the final weeks, but if you're hanging onto him when other players could be helping, it's time to accept the turnaround for Green may not be coming. And even if if it is, it will probably come too late.
UPDATE: Adding insult to injury, Green is now suspended three games for a hit on Brett Connelly on Thursday. Here's Brendan Shanahan for the explanation...