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Green Adjusting to a New Stick

Mike Green broke the last of his discontinued Easton Stealths -- the stick the slick-skating defenseman used to rack up 31 goals and 73 points -- early in Game 1 of this series.

For the rest of that game, and the next two, Green said, "I felt like I was stickhandling for the first time again."

"It takes a couple of games," Green added, referring to the process of getting used to the feel of the heavier, stiffer Easton S17 stick that he's using now. "But today I feel back to normal. It's weird how that happens."

"It's a [crappy] time for that to happen," he said with a laugh, although I could tell he didn't really think it was funny.

The Stealth had been discontinued "a while ago," Green said, so he took extra care of the 15 Stealths he had at the start of the season. He hoped against hope the batch would last through the playoffs.

I'm told there is a possibility that Green could be reunited with one of his beloved Stealths in time for Game 7 -- if there's a Game 7. There is one more Mike Green Edition Stealth in existence: the one he used to set the NHL record for consecutive games with a goal by a defenseman earlier this season.

That stick was earmarked for the Hockey Hall of Fame. But I'm hearing the stick could be back in Green's hands on Wednesday.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 11, 2009; 12:57 PM ET
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Next: Q&A With Alex Ovechkin


Um, shouldn't he have anticipated this before the playoffs and adjusted to the new stick during the regular season?

Posted by: Tony-Tony-Tony | May 11, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

A STICK ?!?!?!?!?!

Maybe that will help him on the power play...and maybe clearing the pucks out...but what about the positioning...maybe the heavier stick slows him down...

Either way..>Let's Go's to getting the series back home on Wednesday (and here's to a chance for Mike to get his old stick back I suppose) :-)

Posted by: rdiehljr | May 11, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

oh my god, if he got the lucky stick back....

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I would think/hope that Green/Caps would have enough pull/$$ to make sure the company keeps making the stealth sticks for him...And why can't he get it tonight? Hello... if it makes that big of a difference pay for a freakin messenger service...

Posted by: mrszilla | May 11, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

i'm not anti- poit but it's not a fluke. his stick was pointed at the goal. that's physics.

Posted by: am_jim | May 11, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Agreed he could have been a bit more careful with his stick, but honestly if he hadn't of gone for it we would have strung him up for that. If the pass had gone thru Cindy very well could have gotten it in and then we would be calling Poti lazy.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 11, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I can recognize how a different stick can cause problems. First you start messing up passes or whiffing shots becuase you are not used to the touch, next you are unable to intercept passes as well because of the weight.

Then you are left with no confidence in your tools which affects the player you are.

Not excusing him, but having had to play with other kids sticks in lacrosse and hockey I know the feeling.

How epic would it be if he scored a gwg in game 7 with his lucky stick?

Posted by: trunkenmath | May 11, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The S17 has a completely different feel and shape compared to the Stealth CNT that he had been using. I'm surprised he didn't try another Easton model before deciding to use the S17.

Posted by: johnpace2 | May 11, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

This isn't the first I've heard about this. He used to use an 80 something flex, and the new one is a 110. That completely changes the feel of the puck (like when he skates the puck up ice without looking down), it also affects pass deliveries and receipts. Man, you would think that Easton hockey would have jumped at the opportunity of getting Green to do some advertisement for him by making as many of the "discontinued" sticks as the Norris trophy candidate wanted.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 11, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

[Rolls eyes]Yeah...its the stick.[/Rolls eyes]

Posted by: CheckingLine | May 11, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

blame it on the stick?....what a tool!

Posted by: 555Mass | May 11, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

bringing the retired stick back sounds like a not so good idea to this guy

Posted by: superpaqman | May 11, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

holy cow. all that money we paid him this year and it was all in the stick. i'm going to check my garage to see if i have one lying around and ship it to him.

if i were him, i would have kept this to myself...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 11, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Holy crap? Really?

Shoot, Ovi goes through 15 in a week but Mike must have felt he'd make it but clearly he knew it would be close. I think the HoF can wait if he needs the dang stick back.

Hey, any pro-am type playings in Caps land that have a Stealth sitting around? Get to Pittsburgh, now!

Posted by: saintex | May 11, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what to think about this one. Yes, I have broken a stick and had to borrow one and yes, the feel isnt the same but why is Greenie talking about it? First, it sounds like he is trying to make excuses and secondly, if he gets the lucky stick back, the first Pen to go near him will smack in half the first chance they get.

Posted by: bigschu8 | May 11, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Given how often sticks seem to break these days, 15 seems like nowhere near enough sticks for a guy who logs as many minutes as Green.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | May 11, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

that pesky stick is really screwing up his poor positioning on the ice. Maybe he should use Crosby's stick since Sid knows exactly where to stand in our crease.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 11, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

cstanton, if that weren't so true, I'd laugh out loud. Maybe the Stealth doesn't check quite as well.

Green isn't being physical at all. He will check (calling Kris LeTang, game 2) but he won't recieve. Here's my two cents of opinion. If one of his shouders is hurt then he'd be more willing to hit someone when he can choose to use the good shoulder and not get compressed. But, he has not taken a hit on the boards in four or five games: he's trying to pick the puck clean from the boards but whether or not he gets it, he's jumping out of the way, every time. I don't think his shoulder(s) can take a hit either on the bad side of if the shoulders will get compressed. As, even though he took a slapshot last game that almost looked full, he spent most of the game fluttering pucks to the goals and hoping for a deflection.

I could be a combo of both, I don't know, but it seems clear to me that the physical aspect has something to do with it.

Posted by: saintex | May 11, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Is that like getting a Nimbus 2000.

Posted by: bluejeener1 | May 11, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

for the money Green is getting paid per year I figure he could come up with something better than his stick...geez

Posted by: doughless | May 11, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

So if he needed to get used to this stick, maybe not skipping 'optional' practices would have been wise.

Posted by: bluejeener1 | May 11, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

probably has something to do with the fact that Stamkos wrecked his shoulder at the end of the season. Even if it "just" subluxed, he hasn't had the down time to let it heal.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

hey saintex I agree with ya, I think Green does have something physically that is slowing him down. Remember the monster hit he put on Sjostrom in game 1 v the Rangers? Since then, in about 120+ shifts he's had less than 5 strong hits. He also looks worn down.

I'm not a fan of Green's defensive work but he was playing well the last month of the year and he played well in game 1 v the Rangers. Since then, he's looked very shaky. The Rangers and Pens have also exacted a huge physical toll on Green. He gets drilled about 6 times every game if not more. I wish our forwards across 4 lines would target a couple of the Pens skill players. Whats stopping our defensemen from treating Sid the kid the same way Orpik has treated Semin ?
Why aren't players like Backstrom finishing their checks ? He's had one strong hit all series. That was on the 1st shift of game 4.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 11, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

PITTSBURGH — Alex Ovechkin was supposed to address reporters inside the Mellon Arena here after the Capitals’ morning skate ahead of Game 6, but he skipped out. Maybe he wanted to get away from the media before the game, in which the Caps face elimination to Pittsburgh.

Three reporters caught up with Ovechkin outside the arena, though, as he and teammate Alexander Semin waited for a ride to the team’s hotel. Here, Ovechkin answered questions patiently and thoughtfully.

Don't stop believing!

If there's justice, the evil empire will be crushed tonight. The Penguins will march to DC one more time.

Posted by: CodePoetry | May 11, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

CodePoetry, thanks for that link. The ovechkin portrayed there is in stark contrast to the hatchet job the Beaver County Times did (see the Sports Bog for that one). made it sound like Ovie runs over kittens and ax murders little old ladies for fun.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 11, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

ok, but this doesn't explain why Green sucked in the Rangers series too...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | May 11, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

so it was his stick that made him just stand there the other night while 3 pens shot the puck.....yeah OK!!!!

Posted by: rarcr | May 11, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, thats his reason....jeeze.

Posted by: TJ2008 | May 11, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

If he wanted to make it all the way through the playoffs, I wonder how far he expected us to go?

Posted by: terpsgirl02 | May 11, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Laughlin made the comment during Game 5 about the how the change in sticks was affecting his play, but I disagree about all of the bad position and misplays. If he knew that his supply of sticks were dwindling, he should have been either getting used to a new model in practice or tried to get Easton to prepare special order.

I've never heard of a player not being prepared to have a his stick model changed. Assume the team's equipment manager would have known this as well and/or the coaching staff. Doesn't speak well for Green or the Caps if this is part of the reason for his poor play against the Pens.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 11, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow Tarik, you really dispise Green to be posting something like this that protrays him like an idiotic babbling fool.
I guess the stick is responsible for him watching the opponents crawl into his goalie's crease and for making him unable to understand any type of defensive tactic.
Green is clearly unable to play defense, period.

Posted by: atybat | May 11, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

It's kind of ironic that you're interpreting the article of Green as a bumbling, idiotic fool.

Learn how to use the spellchecker at least.

Posted by: MNMNT | May 11, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic. Can you imagine the outcry if Crosby blamed a bad string of games on a stick? This takes whining to the next level. Man up! If the stick is the difference, surely he makes enough money to have them custom made to his specs. Absolutely laughable. And 15 Stealths at the start of the season? We're supposed to believe he didn't use other sticks through the year to get used to them if 15 sticks lasted that long? I've seen players break 3 sticks in a period. No way 15 sticks lasted for a year. So he's been using other sticks and this is just an excuse. Hilarious!

Posted by: dan_comet | May 11, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

He had a poor series against the Rangers as well. Blamed on the flu. Switching sticks sucks but most of his mistakes have been mental (holding the puck too long, bad passes, not covering guys in front of the net). Maybe it was the heavier stick that caused him to leave Crosby alone in front of the net twice.

Posted by: Stu_c | May 11, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

if crosby whined about his stick, it would be par for the course. but, like crosby w/ the hats on the ice, green should keep such thoughts to himself. 15 sticks for and 82 game season plus playoffs? pretty irresponsible if you ask me. just kinda proves my theory about greenie, supremely talented, young and maybe not the brightest guy in the room.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 11, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I heard that Green was using the same tape around his left hockey sock, pulling it off ever so carefully after each game. But then, wouldn't you know it -- just as the playoffs started, the tape lost the little remaining adhesive.

"It's a [crappy] time for that to happen," he said with a laugh, although I could tell he didn't really think it was funny.

Hey Green, instead of whining like Crosby... how about trying to emulate Ovechkin and play with some heart?

Posted by: sinbin | May 11, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Green is making excuses or blaming his stick. It's sounds to me like he was just answering questions about his stick. Maybe Tarik noticed he was using a different stick and asked about it. Or maybe he walked by when Green was working on his stick and noticed that he had a half-dozen new sticks there instead of just one.

I used to be a sportswriter and one of the great things about hockey players is that they'll actually talk to you, carry on a conversation and give you real answers. Green could have just said "The new stick is fine" and refused to answer any more questions about it. Instead he talked about about.

I don't see any indication that Green is blaming his stick for everything. He's simply saying that he's getting used to a new one that feels different.

Posted by: lalalu1 | May 11, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

If Green has a bad should which he's been protecting from getting hit, then BB knows it as well as the Pens. With Poti being able to QB the power play (as well as Federov), I don't understand why Green is on all of the time on the PP. He looks unwilling to take a slap shot and his wrist shots don't even him much on them. I'd rather have a 100% Poti out on the PP than a 50% Mike Green.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 11, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

He can borrow my Easton Synergy...although it has the Lidstrom curve--which is money, best stick I've had. It's even an 80 flex.

I've notice so many players now using the Warrior sticks. I've also noticed a lot more sticks breaking.

Posted by: SuperG5 | May 11, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, I'm hearing you guys judging like Mike Green is just any other player. He's a Capital. He's one of OUR Capitals and for any of you to cast judgment on him is dreadful. No offense, but he didn't p*ss in your cornflakes this morning. Y'all did that yourselves.

No offense but even a majority of the Penguins fans protect their precious princess Cindy more. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves.

I'm behind Green. If it's getting used to another stick, then so be it. I ain't judging and NONE of you should be either. Armchair GM's are the saddest fans around, I think.

C'mon, Capitals, stuff that goal into the net 5 times tonight!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 11, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The sticks were discontinued. That's why Green only had 15. Now I don't know why he didn't just switch to a stick that is very similar to the stealth whether it's made by easton or not. LETS GO CAPS. Ovie is sponsored by CCM and occasionally uses a Nike Bauer stick. Forget Easton mike. GET A STICK THAT WORKS

Posted by: CapsFan211 | May 11, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

For those who have played a lot of hockey, you know how wierd it is to play with a different stick. Same with a tennis racket. The passes feel different, the wrist shots feel different, the slap shots feel different. Every brand is different. It's a really bad time to lose your last stick. Trust me, it's miserable.

Posted by: Alexis5 | May 11, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Bad sticks, bad luck, bad bounces, bad calls, etc.

What will the excuse be after tonight if they lose?

Bad ice?

Bad hair?

Bad pregame meal?


Posted by: writered21 | May 11, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

haha that is funny. The magic stick is broken but it will be remade by some divine force for the final battle against all that is evil, once the hero slays the monster one more time.

Posted by: binnenreim | May 11, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@writered21: I agree with one poster who said that he wasn't making excuses for his game playing. You smell like a Pens fan. But if you're a Capitals fan, you should be tarred and feathered. Supporting the Capitals means through good and bad, not when it makes you look good, you heaping pile you.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 11, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

that's awesome.

Posted by: fullright | May 11, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

should've gone with the mylec air-flow...those suckers never break and you can bend the blade to lefty/righty in b/w shifts

Posted by: jar66su | May 11, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Lets make sure jeff schultz doesn't get his LUCKY SKATES back...

Posted by: carsonspence | May 12, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

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