NEWARK, N.J. | Mike Green’s feeling good. The situation looks good. It has been six games for the Capitals without the injured defenseman.
It appears as if he’ll be back in the lineup Friday night at the New Jersey Devils. … Now what?
There are plenty of questions. What about Green’s minutes? Who sits? Let’s take a look.
First, the lineup: Jeff Schultz and John Erskine seem to be the leading candidates to be the healthy scratch. Coach Bruce Boudreau wasn’t showing his hand.
“It always makes it a hard choice when you’ve got seven established NHL defensemen,” he said. “But we’ll figure it out.”
If Karl Alzner and John Carlson are reunited, Wideman would skate with Erskine or Schultz, with Green going back to skating with Roman Hamrlik. Hamrlik said it wouldn’t be that hard to go from playing with Carlson or Wideman back to Green.
And the All-Star defenseman knows he and Hamrlik work well together.
“Roman’s so steady and he’s so experienced. Even out there today we were together and nothing’s changed,” Green said Thursday. “He’s in the right spot, and he’s played the game – he understands and he’s not all over the place. He makes very few mistakes, so it makes him easy to play with.”
Green, coming back from an injured right ankle, might get eased back in – but don’t expect the Caps to coddle him.
“You watch the game and you see how he’s going,” Boudreau said. “Mike, I’ve known him for a long time and he seems the more he plays the better he gets. He’s one of those guys that won’t want to sit on the sidelines and play nine minutes.”