In each of the past three games, the Capitals have fallen to a two-goal deficit to start the contest. They've also gone 2-for-13 on the power play during that same span. While neither occurrence is singly responsible for Washington's 1-2 record over the past seven days, they haven't helped either.
One more important part about this past week, though, is that the Capitals have played it without two-time Norris Trophy candidate Mike Green. And the absence of Green, who is out with an upper-body injury, seems to be showing. His presence not only helps set up the power play, as that unit (at 4 for 30) tries to get back on track, but when the Capitals fall behind, Green's speed allows Washington to move the puck rapidly through the neutral zone and out of its own end.
"He's certainly the best offensive D in the game today, so when Mike is not there we're definitely missing him," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Whether it's on the power play or bringing the puck up, making the outlet pass or joining the rush, he's as good as there is. So when you take him out of your lineup, you're definitely missing."
When Green returns it will hardly be a cure-all, nor is his absence the sole reason for the Capitals' struggles recently. But it certainly won't hurt when Washington gets back the player who averaged more than 27 minutes per game through the first four games and, along with Jeff Schultz, held opposing top lines (New Jersey, Ottawa) to little or no impact.
IN THE MINORS
Cody Eakin will represent the WHL in the upcoming Super Series.
AROUND THE WEB
Corey Masisak breaks down the lack of defensive depth in the organization.