1. I'm not good with fancy stats and
2. I don't think fancy stats has a dog in this fight
The main point that I have seen is that the Capitals need something to change. No one is convinced on what that really is but it seems as though everyone makes that point. I would certainly agree with this but does anything need to change really? The Capitals after being HALAK'D by the Montreal Canadiens a year prior changed to a more defensive system. It worked but then it did not work to a certain point. What made the Caps one of the most dangerous teams in the league - the offensive fire power - was lost. What was gained was a pretty fantastic penalty kill and a better mindset to do whatever it takes to stop the other team from scoring.
This new mindset worked to a certain point much like the always 100 mph attacking mindset the Capitals once had. Where it did not work is where the league table is deceiving. While the team did finish on top of the east for the second year in a row we certainly were far from the best team. The Capitals won the Eastern Conference only because the Bruins, Flyers and Lightning lost close games they should not have at the end of the season. By contrast the Caps were winning one goal games they had no business being in. The other three teams from the east mentioned were all stronger than the Capitals and always were stronger. The national media tends to fall into the trap of if you win your conference then you're clearly the best.
The Capitals were one point ahead of a Flyers team that was also swept in the second round. One point ahead of a Penguins team that in a game that would have moved them into the second round were abused by the Tampa Bay Lightning and never recovered. They were four points ahead of the two teams that were in the conference final. So were the Capitals ever really that much better than all of these teams? Even more to the point, were the Capitals ever really better than a Tampa Bay Lightning team that for much of the regular season lead the Southeast Division?
All of this leads me to this crusade to trade Mike Green. On one hand I get it. He's part of the core group of players that were brought in five to six years ago that by now were suppose to make a deep cup run. He always seems to choke in the playoffs. He has a problem staying healthy. These points are understandable and in many areas correct.
What I have a problem with is that it always falls upon the shoulders of Green to be the one to take the blame for everything. Capitals fans forget all of the other players on the squad and focus their mass hate on a two time Norris finalist. On a player that this season improved his defensive abilities a great deal. On a player that during the losing streak featured on Hard Knocks was arguably the best player the Capitals had. Statistics are a great thing and I trust in them quite a bit. They are not the only thing we should look at. Not everything can be measured either.
Outside of the rookies Marcus Johansson, John Carlson and Michal Neuvirth I think that Mike Green had the best season out of all of the Capitals. He showed more heart and passion that we have ever seen out of him. Not only did he take a puck to the head once he did it twice. We can argue how stupid both plays were but he did something that he was always criticized for. Yet even now he still gets punished. He played fantastically against the Rangers and without him I certainly do not believe we would have won that series. Sure he looked slow against Tampa but all of the Capitals did. To put the sweep all on the feet of Mike Green is deflecting from the other issues the Washington Capitals have.
The other issue is that even if the Capitals were to trade Green what would we get back? I am in the camp that believes unless we get an absolute top of the line player in return then why bother. His contract in itself makes Green almost impossible to get rid of. Not only that he actually really is a good player. He certainly cannot be as bad as some make him out to be given by the start of next season Mike Green could possibly be the only active defenseman in the league with a 70 point season.....
Change is certainly going to come to the Capitals eventually. With the back end talent that we are all keeping tabs on a new set of "young guns" will come up soon. What we all need to do until then is take a step back and just breathe for a second. The Washington Capitals had a very hard season. It was up and down, left and right plus more. We went from a strong start to a horrid collapse to winning the Winter Classic to losing our top defender to going on a fantastic winning streak. This team is still young. As someone who is in the age group of the current crop of young guns I can tell you that you still have so much more to learn about life even if you are in your mid twenties. You are not as grown up as people make you out to be.
Not every team will have an easy road to winning it all. But when you get there it becomes all that much sweeter. Just for the love of everything I say that trading Mike Green would be the BIGGEST MISTAKE this franchise could make at this point. We need him more than people realize. Plus don't you want to see that Wideman - Green line? You know the one that played a grand total of zero games together so far?
tl;dr LEAVE MIKE GREEN ALONE!!!!
look at these puppy dog eyes and tell me you want them on some other shitty team..........
How do you feel about the TRADE MIKE GREEN situation? Share your thoughts with me!