Coach Bruce Boudreau said that the Capitals opted to not bring Mike Green on the final road trip of the regular season in order to ensure that nothing would happen to cause a set-back before the playoffs. Green will miss a 20th straight game since he suffered a concussion on Feb. 25 when he was hit by the Rangers’ Derek Stepan.
“It was the best thing for him right now,” Boudreau said. “He practiced hard yesterday. He’ll have two more good practices with contact and scrimmage situations. We didn’t want to foolishly take a chance, after talking to Mike, that somebody would shoot a puck off his head accidentally or [that Green would] needlessly get hit in the wrong, vulnerable position.
“So with a contact practice yesterday,” Boudreau continued, “and I know there will be two physical practices Monday, Tuesday we figure he’ll be ready.”
That means that Green’s first game action in over a month will come in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but Boudreau isn’t overly concerned about putting the two-time Norris Trophy finalist into that intense situation immediately.
“If he wasn’t in such great shape and he wasn’t such a great skater I would be worried a little bit more,” Boudreau said. “But in this situation I’m not worried. If you ever look at Mike’s history his first game of the year, whether it’s preseason or regular season, is always really good. He’s always so excited to play and he’s ready.”