Caps struggling minus Green

Caps struggling minus Green
November 18, 2011, 1:05 pm
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Let's begin by stating the obvious:

The Capitals are a different team without a healthy Mike Green in the lineup.

After winning seven straight games to start the season -- all of them with Green pushing the pace -- the Capitals have gone 3-6-1 in their last 10 and 1-4-1 in their last six.

With Green in the lineup the Caps are 8-0 and have scored 33 goals. Without him they are 2-6-1 with 24 goals.

His absence is even greater when you look at the Caps' power play numbers. In their eight games with Green in the lineup they've scored eight power-play goals. In their nine games without him they have four.

It's been a week since Green strained his groin against the Devils and he is still not skating, which means the Caps might not have him back in the lineup until the day before or the day after Thanksgiving.

But there is a bigger problem facing the Capitals as they try to put an end to their season-high three-game losing streak. They've been coughing up leads and having extended mental lapses that have cost them games.

In Tuesday night's 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators the Caps allowed all three goals in a span of 3:58 in the third period. In their 4-1 loss in Winnipeg Thursday night they surrendered three goals in a 4:16 span of the second period.

It is only November, but is this something we should worry about?

Or is this simply a mini-funk that will be easily corrected with a win in Toronto on Saturday night?