Green’s sacrifice earns praise all over the Capitals’ locker room

Defenseman is ‘OK’ after taking a slapshot to the head

It didn’t matter than Mike Green spent over a month on the shelf after a concussion. It didn’t matter that he took a puck to the side of the head in early February.

These are the playoffs, so the Capitals’ All-Star defenseman went down to block a shot in the first period of Game 5 Sunday off the stick of Matt Gilroy. Unfortunately the puck hit him in the face and knocked him out for the rest of the Caps’ 3-1 victory over the Rangers, but Green appears to be all right.

“He’s OK. We could’ve played him,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He got a puck to the head, but he told me he was fine after the game.”

Green got the hard hat afterward and earned plenty of praise for laying out and getting in front of a shot and not being gun shy about it.

“When you get a guy like that who’s had symptoms before and who goes down to block a shot, you know he’s determined to win. Hats off to him for doing that,” center Jason Arnott said. “Hopefully he comes back, and he seems to be all right. That just pumped us up even more to see him go down and try to keep a goal out and put his body first and put the team first.”

Green’s afternoon started out very well as he scored his first of the playoffs a power-play marker to give the Caps an early 1-0 lead. It looked like just a matter of time until Green broke through.

“I think he gets better and better and better every game. He missed 26 out of 28 games there,” Boudreau said before the game. “He’s being responsible. He’s doing everything we ask him to. If he scores he scores, if he doesn’t he doesn’t. But there’s a real chance eventually one of those shots is going to go in.”

It did, but then he got knocked out when Gilroy’s shot struck him in the face as he dived to get in front of it. Boudreau said it showed something special about Green that he was willing to do that.

“Here’s a guy that’s had three times this year already or two for sure but I know there was more where he’s gotten hit in the head,” the coach said. “And he’s still doing whatever it would take to win a hockey game, and that’s tremendous character.”

Green’s teammates saw him as he rejoined them on the bench in the second period but didn’t see any ice time beyond his 5:36 in the first. He became something of an inspiration as well and Karl Alzner found it odd that it was almost the same situation as when Brooks Orpik’s shot hit Green back on Feb. 6.

“You don’t like to see that,” Alzner said. “He was battling hard there, he was on the bench just kinda warming up between every intermission out there and we just wanted to go out there and get that win for him tonight and let him rest and we hopefully can get him back for the next game.”

Green’s official status likely won’t be known until Monday when the Caps return to Kettler for practice after a day off, but judging by Boudreau’s attitude it seems things are good for now.

Well, as long as Green stops taking pucks to the head.

“I just wish he’d get the magnets out of his helmet,” Boudreau joked.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) looks to pass in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Monday, April 14, 2014, in Washington. The Wizards won 114-93. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Wizards’ Otto Porter, Glen Rice Jr. hoping for big splash on small stage

  • Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) is surrounded by fans that rushed the field and security as he is escorted off the field following their 45-38 win over Oklahoma in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    SNYDER: RG3 worth his weight in bronze to Baylor

  • Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado (13), celebrates his two-run homer with Adam Jones left, with Nick Markakis, at right, during the 11th inning of an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. The Orioles won 8-2, in 11 innings. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Accidental rivalry: Nats-Orioles doesn’t have much edge

  • Celebrities In The News
  • (Image from DeAngelo Williams' Facebook post)

    NFL star likely fooled by Marine impostor who accepted first-class plane ticket

  • ** FILE ** In this Oct. 1, 2013, file photo actor George Clooney attends the premiere of "Gravity" at the AMC Lincoln Square Theaters, in New York. George Clooney has chastised a British newspaper over an article claiming his fiancee's mother disapproves of the impending marriage for religious reasons. Clooney said that the claims about his future mother-in-law Baria Alamuddin were untrue and irresponsible. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

    Website apologizes for Clooney mother-in-law story

  • Kim Kardashian arrives at the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment 2014 Upfront at the Javits Center on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Kim Kardashian visits Jersey shore