The Washington Times - November 17, 2011, 02:20PM

WINNIPEG, Manitoba | Earlier in the week there was a hint of optimism in Bruce Boudreau’s words about Mike Green that maybe – just maybe – he could join the Capitals at some point on their road trip.

Then it came out that Green has a groin injury, something that can be a nagging problem. And on Thursday the optimism seemed to wane. When asked about whether there was still a chance of Green meeting the team on the road, Boudreau responded: “I really doubt it.”

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General manager George McPhee through a team spokesman declined to give any interviews Thursday at MTS Centre. He joined the team from the GM meetings in Toronto.

Boudreau called Green a “one-man breakout” on the power play and pointed out a day earlier that he challenged his players to step up because the Caps don’t have a one-man power play.

“Other teams miss guys too,” Boudreau said. “You just have to make do without him until we get him back. He’s not here today, so we’re not worried about him.”

Green has not skated since injuring his right groin muscle late in the first period Nov. 11. A team spokesman confirmed again Thursday that Green was not on the ice back at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

“I don’t think you can ever get used to playing without a guy like that. He just brings so much to the table,” defenseman Karl Alzner said this week. “We want that guy back.”

When that happens remains to be seen.