I was chatting with one of the biggest Caps fans I know on the night of March 30, as the Sabres seemed on the verge of handing Washington yet another dispiriting, momentum-crushing, playoff-threatening loss. He and I were ticking off many of the team’s problems, and we both said it sure seemed like Mike Green would never again be the player he once was.
Well, you know what happened next. Green scored the tying goal in Buffalo with less than a minute left. The Caps won in overtime. Since then, the Caps are 7-0-1. And Green — who had four goals in his first 21 games (including that Buffalo blast) — scored six goals in those next eight games.
My friend and I weren’t the only ones choosing the precise wrong time to criticize Green. One longtime fan — whose family has had Caps season tickets for 15 years — sent this tweet during that Sabres game.
@greenlife52 looks like he could absolutely care less. Beyond time for him to go
— Amanda (@amandacastlee) March 31, 2013
Athletes often ignore the flood of negative tweets that invariably come their way. Green chose not to ignore this one.
“You should put your foot in your mouth,” the blue-liner responded. “Love people like you and wish you all the best. #Caps #Winning.”
“To all the true caps fans all the love from #greenlife52,” he later wrote.
And that would have been that. Except his original critic, seeking to have a little fun with the incident, printed out a copy of Green’s response and brought it to Sunday night’s season ticket holder’s event at Six Flags. And gave it to Green for an autograph.
“Surprisingly he laughed and we shook hands,” she wrote to me.
“Friends now?” she wrote to Green on Twitter later in the night.
“We are friends again!” Green replied.
People being nice to each other on the Internet? Now I’ve seen everything.
BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ THE PAPER
* J. Reid says getting swept by the Braves will increase the heat on the Nats.
* This was in Sunday’s paper, but I hope you find time for Sally Jenkins and Rick Maese on the NFL’s culture of pain management.
* The Caps are cruising toward the playoffs, though they’re not allowed to say that.
* Nene’s season is over. Long live Nene’s season.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Davey Johnson continues to have a way with words:
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
Alex Ovechkin and Maria Kirilenko get ready to help anyone with a season-ending piece of the Caps’ roller coaster of a season. Via @Ovi8.
To each his own on TV sports viewing, but I’m one million percent with Kory Lichtensteiger on this one:
— Kory Lichtensteiger (@Steiger78) April 15, 2013
ATHLETES AROUND TOWN
A $40 COCKTAIL
Nothing says “Boomtown D.C.” better than a new seafood restaurant with a cocktail menu inspired by famous vessels, including one with a $40 price tag featuring Martell XO, Grand Marnier and passion fruit juice. Via Young and Hungry.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Nats are in Miami at 7 on MASN. The Wizards are in Brooklyn at 7:30 on Comcast SportsNet. All TV and radio listings are here.