Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mike Green and His Sticks

So by now everyone has heard Mike Green's story right? No? How could you not, it's how everyone in Washington is rationalizing his piss poor play. Ok, Ok, Ok, allow me to recap the situation.

Greener uses Easton Stealths, nothing special right? Well no, but, Easton conveniently discontinued his particular flex and blade at the beginning of this year, so, he tried to make it through the season with the 15 Stealth's he had left. Well, early on in Game 1, that stick snapped. So for the past 5 games and 2 periods, Mike Green has been playing with an Easton S17 as a replacement; different flex, different blade, and heavier.

Now, seriously, this isn't a story at all. That is, until you realize there's one Mike Green Easton Stealth left, yes, the stick that's ultimately destined for the Hockey Hall of Fame. That stick made it to Pittsburgh for Game 6 (where was it to begin with?) but Green decided to go with the S17 again.

But after Tarik El-Bashir wrote the article outing the story (linked above), well, more came out of the wood work. Apparently Green expected at least a half dozen more to arrive yesterday and today. Family, friends, fans, reporters; he really must've been pretty liberal with his freebies. So what's he got to say?
"So [Stealths] are coming in like no tomorrow. They're coming out of everywhere. Fans and one of the reporters even had one.

"I'll use [a Stealth] in the morning and see how it feels," he added.

At this point, it's not a talent issue, that much we know. It seems to be a mental thing. We're all told; players, coaches, media, that the playoffs is about gritty, hard-nosed defense. That isn't Mike Green's game, although it seems he's trying to make it so. Craig Laughlin yesterday said on the radio "Sometimes you're trying to do so much, you're not doing anything at all." Yeah, he was talking about Mike Green. Obviously we all know Green is about as good as it gets in the transition game, let alone his bomb from the point, what we also know is that, although he isn't necessarily a liability in his own end, far from it, he most certainly won't be confused with Lidstrom or Chara. By trying to change his game to fit the mold of "playoff intensity," Green has actually played himself out of the series.

But then again, if you've been watching this series as closely as we have, you've seen him mishandle how many point passes, misfire on so many shots, and really just didn't seem all that confident carrying the puck. Is it really the stick?

So tell me people, those of you that play, had played, still play, are playing with much of a comfort issue is there with a new stick? Are we seeing Mike Green think himself out of the series? Is a stick change really going to alter his game? I guess we'll find out tonight.

Update 6:49 - Mike Green takes the warmups with an Easton Stealth!


I Rock the Red said...

The thing is, Boudreau himself has said that he has Green on a short leash. His high-risk/high-reward style gives up a lot of odd-man rushes, and with the Penguins on the other side of the ice, that is DANGEROUS.

Glad he's getting some sticks, though. That'll rock. I'm sure it is a contributing factor, too.

I Rock the Red said...

As far as a different stick is concerned, yes: it can make a HUGE difference. Different feel, different flex... you'd be amazed what the difference is.

Denson said...

Yeah, I agree with Rock on the stick making a huge difference.

Playing hockey for 17 years, but not rich, I didn't have the luxury of having 50 of the same sticks on the bench, so breaking one and using someone else's always sucked. And Green's case, well that sucks.

But then again, it's not Mike Green's stick that tells him to go join a cycle in the Pens zone...tee hehe.

Gary Scares Me said...

Mike Green is one of the best winger's in the game--oh wait, he plays defense? uh...

Anonymous said...

Played hockey for 20+ years and a stick does make a huge difference. Ask Tiger to play with Phil's clubs in a major or Federer with a different racket... They are made out of advanced composites and other materials for very specific usage characterstics.

Unfortunately, while that may explain a couple of isolated misplays of the puck, it doesn't explain his overall poor play in this series.

I'm a Caps season ticket holder and I love to watch Green play but he's been bad in the playoffs. Regardless of if it's due to Bruce putting the reigns on him (which is a bad idea for a guy who plays like he does) or other mental lapses, bottom line is it's not good enough for a guy that may win the Norris this year.

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Fact: BanginPanger is not meant as an insult to the one and only Darren Pang, nor do I claim to be him. The views and opinions presented on BanginPanger are of my own, and no other namesake of the site, the NHL, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, or anyone else.