Green's most important "defensive" attribute is his ability to gain control of the puck, and lead the breakout, either by skating the puck out of the zone or making an excellent first pass. People who haven't watched Washington much don't realize how physical Mike Green is. He is very good as separating opposition players from the puck. And when he does, it's going the other way in a hurry.
I think one of the key differences between Blashill and Babcock centers around this exact concept. Babs did not let any of his defensemen (other than Kronwall on occasion) skate with the puck. Their job was to gain possession, and look to dump the puck off to a forward. This does a couple of things. A) Makes the team easier to defend because you know where the puck is going, B) Makes the defensemen more vulnerable to the forecheck, C) Means that when your d-men turn the puck over, it will probably be in your zone, and D) Curtails the effectiveness of your zone entries.
Obviously it remains to be seen how Blash will handle D to O transitions. But I'm optimistic. Letting your d-men skate with the puck should play into Green's skillset, but also improve Smith and Kindl's games (as they're both weak against the forecheck, but really good skaters).
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