The Washington Capitals
Mike Green’s NHL career started with a bang. In the 2005-2006 season, he played played 22 games and when the season ended he had three points. Green only played in 22 games so his rookie year is considered the 2006-2007 season. He had 2 goals and 10 assists.
It was the 2007-2008 season that Green started to find his stride. He earned the nickname “Game Over Green” because of his ability to score late in the third period or in overtime. Green ended that season with 18 goals and 38 assists. He joined the Capitals in the Stanley Cup playoffs and during his first playoff game, he tied the game with two goals in the third period. In the third game of the series he got a goal, an assist and a fight, also known as a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.
The 2008-2009 season was filled with injuries for Green. He was forced to sit on the sidelines. Despite this he was able to set a record for most consecutive games with a goal by a defenseman. He also became the eighth defenseman in history to score 30 goals.
The next few seasons with the Capitals were plagued with injuries. However, when Green was able to play he was a good player and in 2012 he signed a three year contract with the Capitals. He led NHL defenseman with 12 goals in a lockout shortened season. However in the 2013-2014, he was sent down to the second powerplay unit and had a career low in points. When his contract was up it was not renewed. During his time with the Capitals, he played 575 regular season games, scored 113 goals, and had a total of 360 points.
Hey Hey Hockeytown
On July 1,2015 Green signed a three year, 18 million dollar contract with the Detroit Red Wings. Fans were excited to acquire him since he is an elite defenseman and that is something that Red Wings needed.
Mike Green’s first season with Detroit was good, even if it was not exactly what some fans had been hoping for. He ended the season with 7 goals and 28 assists. It might not have been his best season, but he was coming into a new franchise and sometimes it takes a season for a player to find his stride.
The Hat Trick
On October 17, 2016 the Detroit Red Wings played their final home opener in the Joe Louis Arena against The Ottawa Senators. It was a Gordie Howe night so there were a few comments about how someone should get a Gordie Howe Hat trick. The fans did not get that, but they did get to see Mike Green get his first career hat trick.
Green’s first goal of the night was 11:43 into the first period. Green scored on a wrist shot that was assisted by Thomas Vanek and Gustav Nyquist.
17:17 into the second period, he got his second goal. It was near the end of a Detroit powerplay. Green got off a slap shot with Tomas Tatar and Thomas Vanek assisting. The Wings were now up by three and Green had his first two goals of the season.
Things were quiet for Green on the scoring front during the second period. He did get a penalty for interference. The penalty was killed and the Wings were no worse for wear.
Then 13:24 into the third period, it was Green again from Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan. Green got his first career hat trick and fans got free curly fries from Arbys the next day.
The Wings would go on to win that game 5-1 and start a winning streak that would last six games. Mike Green got his first career hat trick and was really making an impact for Detroit. He was later named NHL’s third star of the week.
Game Over Green
On November 25, 2016 the Red Wings were visiting the New Jersey Devils. The Wings had just come off a 2-1 overtime win in Buffalo. They were tied at four at the end of the third and once again found themselves in an overtime game.
With 1:42 left in overtime, Green scored the game winning goal in Detroit’s second OT win in a row.
On that play, he showed everyone why he was known as “Game Over Green when he played in Washington. Green’s goal was the ninth overtime goal of his career and put him the lead of all NHL defensemen.
Mike Green plays two way hockey. He is able to stop goals in his team’s zone as well as create opportunities in other team’s zones. There has been a lot of complaining about Detroit’s defense and scoring opportunities. Mike Green can answer both of those problems as long as he keeps playing like he is. He has a hat trick and an overtime game winner this season. It would be unfair to put all the pressure on one player, but hopefully this will be the season where he is able keep his reputation as Game Over Green as a Red Wing.
The 2016-2017 season has been very streaky for Detroit. When they are clicking their lines work together and they are able to score and play entertaining hockey. However, when they are bad, it is really bad. They have been shut out three times this season and have blown many leads. I am hoping that Green’s overtime goal will put a spark back in the Red Wings and start a new winning streak.