When the Capitals’ coaching staff decided to bench Mike Green with 9 minutes 25 seconds remaining in the third period of Tuesday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, the defenseman didn’t disagree with their course of action.
“I honestly had a bad day, nothing was working for me. I wasn’t even upset. I just had nothing,” Green said in Edmonton a day later. “My legs wouldn’t go, my hands, my vision, everything was off, the puck was bobbling. It was just one of those nights, and I didn’t feel that anything I was going to do was going to be beneficial.”
Washington displayed far from perfect execution in its 5-4 shootout win over the Jets, and Green’s assessment of his own performance was an honest one. He couldn’t maintain control of the puck, was caught out of position numerous times and simply couldn’t find his game.
It’s not an outing Green is going to dwell on personally, nor will it change the role he holds for the Capitals.
“I just think it was one night,” Coach Adam Oates said. “I expect him to be himself” against Edmonton on Thursday night.
Green viewed the benching as an opportunity to refresh and refocus his game after hitting “a roadblock” in Winnipeg. It’s also situations like this one where players are reminded of the benefits of having former NHLers as coaches. They know what it’s like to have an off night and what it’s like to want to bounce back from one.
“When I was put on the bench it was a common respect for each other that he knows what I’m going through right now and it’s probably better just to take a seat,” Green said. “I feel like I’ve been playing a lot of minutes lately and this will happen once in a while. That was last night. But the most important thing was we got the win. The guys battled back. I’m not upset at all. At the end of the day all we care about is getting points, especially to start off this road trip.
“Throw it away and play strong,” Green said. “And I will.”