Mike Green hard on himself after return from injury

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Mike Green’s night by the numbers included 17 shifts, 15:43 of ice time and two minor penalties. That the Washington Capitals made it through the game healthy after missing 23 games with a groin injury made it a success.

But Green wasn’t too thrilled about his game.

“I don’t want to comment on that,” he said. “I’m hard on myself.”

Green’s penalties weren’t great, but after being out since Nov. 11 with a right groin strain, they could be forgiven, especially as the Caps’ penalty kill clicked along yet again.

“You know, when you haven’t been playing for a while things start to seem to move a little faster and usually some penalties come with it,” defenseman Dennis Wideman said. “I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

It’s admittedly a work in progress for the 26-year-old.

“I’ll just get the rust out of my game, and I’ll be back to normal soon,” he said. “I think that there was times where I felt like I [had] good jump and didn’t have the energy to do it. So it’s just a matter of getting everything back and functioning properly.”

Coach Dale Hunter knew this wasn’t Green at his 100 percent best.

“You’re rusty. You’re not going to play up to your standards you want to play, but you’ve got to start somewhere,” Hunter said. “I don’t know how many minutes he played, but they weren’t crazy minutes just trying to get the rust off him.”

Green said his plan was to practice Wednesday and play when the Caps visit the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night. But he admitted everything would have to wait to see how he felt the day after this game.

“This was a good test for me to just kind of get out there and see where I’m at,” he said.

Green and the Caps hope he feels better about his injury than he did about his performance against the Calgary Flames. It wasn’t quite where he wanted to be.

“No,” Green said. “Not even close.”

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