Greener Pastures

Mike Green has become maybe the most feared
defenseman on the power play in the league.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - In a short period of time the landscape of the top NHL defenseman, fantasy wise, has shifted drastically.

In seasons past, guys like Nicklas Lidstrom (70 points in 2007-08) and Sergei Gonchar (65 points in 07-08) have led the way among blueline scorers.

But over the last few years there has been a movement building for the next generation of blueline snipers with the likes of Dion Phaneuf and Shea Weber showing their abilities. But the defenseman who has thrust himself to the front of this very talented new crop resides in the Nation's Capital.

On a team that already sports arguably the best forward in the game in Alex Ovechkin and a very deep cast of scoring forwards around him, it seems almost unfair that they also might have the best young scoring defenseman in Mike Green.

In his short two and a half seasons, Green has already recorded his 100th point, seen his point-per-game average jump each season and has become maybe the most feared defenseman on the power play in the league.

In fact, his 0.94 PPG average this season is tops among defenseman. Oh yea, he has done all this mostly before celebrating his 23rd birthday this past October.

Obviously, the presence of Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom helps Green play a more open game, but the truth is that Green seems to be what makes this team go. The Capitals are 23-9-3 with him in the lineup this season and a mere 7-6 without him.

And it is safe to say that the Caps seventh-ranked power play would be less dangerous without their quarterback. Truth be told, Green has become the top defenseman in the NHL, at least fantasy wise, over just a few short seasons in the league. And he is only going to get better.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Tim Godfrey at tgodfrey@sportsnetwork.com.