It sure ain't easy being Mike Green

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:02 AM ET

The odds have not always been in Mike Green's favour.

Yet that hasn't stopped the Washington Capitals defenceman from overcoming them.

Green was tied for the NHL lead in scoring by defencemen with the Maple Leafs' Tomas Kaberle before the two faced off against each other last night with their respective clubs. Green had three goals and 19 assists in 21 games, Kaberle two goals and 20 assists in 20 games.

But while Kaberle is a lock for the Czech Republic for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Green is in tough to crack Canada's roster.

"If I get chosen, it would be one of the best days of my life," Green said. "All that aside, what I am worried about right now is the Capitals."

Green thrust himself on to Hockey Canada's Olympic radar last season when he exploded for 31 goals in 68 games. That followed an 18-goal campaign in 2007-08.

The prolific scoring, though, was not always part of Green's game and, coming out of junior, few would have predicted his red-light lighting ways in the NHL. He had just three goals in his first 92 games with the Caps and during his junior days with the Saskatoon Blades, never had more than 14 in one season.

But the ability to put the puck in the net from the point and pinpoint passing might not be enough for Green to make his way to Vancouver in February.

When the Calgary native -- one of 16 defencemen invited to Canada's summer orientation camp in August -- looks at the depth chart, he sees several men who have an inside track. The Philadelphia Flyers' Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer of the Anaheim Ducks, Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks, Dan Boyle of the San Jose Sharks, the Calgary Flames' Jay Bouwmeester and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators will be difficult to dislodge. Young Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings also will get plenty of consideration, as will Calgary's Robyn Regehr.

Part of what could hold Green back is the fact that no one will confuse him with the NHL's toughest or most defensively reliable blueliners. And it hasn't helped that he has been using a new Easton model this season after the stick he used was discontinued.

If the 24-year-old doesn't get named to the roster, he will be in his prime for 2014, provided NHL players participate in the Olympics that year in Sochi, Russia.

"I'm sure (Hockey Canada) has been watching all the games," Green said. "I'm trying to do my part -- play tough defence and be able to play offence. It is tough to balance the two, but I am starting to get my feel back again. It has taken about 15 games, but I feel really good."

TERRY.KOSHAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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