Every member of the Washington Capitals’ roster made at least a few mistakes Tuesday night in what was one of the uglier wins in recent memory. The Capitals triumphed in a shootout, 5-4, over the Winnipeg Jets despite making the task much more difficult for themselves than they needed to.
While no player is immune from some form of criticism after this one – well, maybe Braden Holtby after facing 47 shots — it was Mike Green who the coaching staff benched at the mid-way point of the third period.
“I didn’t think Greenie was having his best night,” Coach Adam Oates said. “The other guys were going pretty good, it got late in the game and I think [assistant coach] Calle [Johansson] just went with Carly and Steveo for a couple shifts.”
Green was on the ice for two of the Jets’ four goals, both tallies by Bryan Little. On the first, he turned over the puck in the neutral zone sparking the 2-on-1 that led to Little’s shorthanded tally in the second period. Then in the third, he was caught in no-man’s land in what was a haphazard shift in Washington’s own end by all involved that led to Winnipeg’s fourth tally.
Those two shifts along with the failed clearing attempts, misplayed passes and bad pinches piled up to result in Green not skating a single shift past 9:25 remaining in the third period. His 18:13 total ice time is the first time this season he hasn’t eclipsed the 20 minute mark.
But Oates made it clear that he saw this game as a blip for Washington’s ice-time leader and two-time Norris Trophy finalist.
“It’s something that you feel as a coach in the course of the game, but Greenie’s our man,” Oates said. “It’s a minor hiccup.”
Five thoughts on the game will follow Wednesday morning.