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“You can’t just, all of a sudden, start doing something that you’re not capable of doing,” Wideman said. “You have to keep playing your game and as soon as you start trying to push too much, that’s when things go wrong on the other end.”

As Laich pointed out, every other defenseman maybe picks up his play another 10 to 15 percent, and each guy’s ice time increases a bit, too. And while the Caps are confident they have the depth and talent to make do without Green, they also understand the level of play they can reach with him.”

“It’s good that he can take his time,” Erskine said, “but the quicker he gets back, the better off our team is.”

Note: On Thursday forward Jay Beagle spoke for the first time since suffering a concussion Oct. 13 and said he hopes to resume skating Friday.