NEW YORK – Mike Green recently registered four shots on net in one game, the kind of performance the Detroit Red Wings want to see regularly from their top offensive defenseman.
The Wings signed Green, 30, last off-season because he fit their criteria of a right-handed shot who could add production to the back end. Green had an assist in his debut, and was at 19 points overall as the Wings headed into tonight’s game at Barclays Center against the New York Islanders, the final stop on Detroit’s schedule before the All-Star break.
Green had just picked up assist number 17 over the weekend. He also had three shots in Saturday’s Anaheim game; he’d registered four in a game a few days earlier. Shooting is foremost on his mind.
“It’s tough to get shots through in this league, but if you establish yourself to think shot-first, they seem to get through,” Green said. “I’ve focused a little more on it and make sure I have that mentality. It causes a lot of confusion when you do get shots through, so I think that is imperative.”
Getting a shot through, or delivering the puck to the net, as coach Jeff Blashill terms it, is vital to creating offense in today’s defense-oriented NHL. A good shot can create confusion, and a breakdown by the opposition. That’s how a good scoring opportunity can present itself.
Green’s play of late is what the Wings envisioned when he was signed.
“I think he’s definitely gained confidence in how we play and the thing it takes to be successful and the things we want out of him,” Blashill sad “The other part of it is at some point he made a concerted effort just to shoot more pucks, and really be a shot-first guy instead of a pass-first guy.
“”If you go back to the year he scored 30 (2008-09) in Washington, his shots were like four shots per game and he was under a shot a game earlier in the year for us. I think he has made a concerted effort to really go and shoot and when he shoots the puck, it just creates lots of chaos. “
■Larkin Makes List: The NHL announced further details of this weekend’s NHL All-Star event. The Wings will be represented by rookie Dylan Larkin. He may end up competing in the Breakaway Challenge, as he is one of three candidates the NHL has made eligible to be voted on by fans to one opening. Colorado’s Matt Ducheneand Columbus’ Brandon Saadare the other candidates. Vote on Twitter using the hashtag #NHLBreakawayLarkin. Voting is open from Tuesday at noon to 5 p.m. Thursday.
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