A quick look at Behind the Net leads to an interesting observation regarding Mike Green. The only Capitals defenseman within earshot is John Carlson, and all his most frequent defensive partners are well below him, three in the negative relative Corsi range. He must have been some sort of stellar, right?
Link to the WOWY: all scores, 5v5, empty net situations not included. The cells where "W/o Green" intersects "Green" are the Capitals without Green on-ice.
Not a large delta there between team and Green. Maybe he was playing during a time when the Capitals were poorer at possession? During the games Green played prior to the Stepan hit (until 20915), the Caps were .515 in Corsi, the same as after that game.
What is clear is that Green has continued to lack an adequate partner. Hannan and Alzner seemed to work in their small samples, but Schultz and Erskine...not so much. Erskine I can understand, but Schultz did not drag Green down as much in 2009-2010. Even if Schultz bounces back (which I think will happen, given that he should be healthy this offseason), he is a less-than-ideal partner. Hopefully Roman Hamrlik can fill that niche.
Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be best to load up with Green and another offensive-minded defenseman (Wideman, maybe Orlov in the future) on the top pair, send them out for most offensive zone faceoffs along with Backstrom and Ovechkin, and let them forget all about playing defense, since the Capitals haven't been able to find another two-way solution to play alongside Green (Alzner is one, but he should play with Carlson).
It's interesting how Green's Corsi% got pretty high playing with less-than-stellar defensive players like Tomas Fleischmann and Jason Chimera in what I presume were "Charmin Ultrasoft" minutes.
I removed Green's on-ice events from "Team" for the purposes of this chart, a change from what I'd done before.
Green is all over the place here. During that early-season spike he was playing top lines as well (Carlson-Alzner took over around the 20th game). Although his line doesn't follow the team's as much as, say, Backstrom's, his does sometimes show the inverse trend, suggesting to me that he gets taken off prime ice time.
On another note, I realize that I stupidly didn't code the rolling 10-game segments correctly for Nicklas Backstrom. Here is a corrected version.
Again we see his play dip off, as he missed a few games and had a terrible second game back (+10, -29). At first glance I'm a little worried how Backstrom's Corsi% mimics the Caps' (while that suggests he's at his team's mercy or that the team is at his mercy, it also means he's consistent, I guess, though I'd prefer he sets his own standards for play), but I really don't have a frame of reference until I get around to, say, Ovechkin.