It fell apart for the Washington Capitals under Bruce Boudreau when defenseman Mike Green hurt his ankle and couldn't play. Ex-assistant coach Bob Woods said Green's absence "disrupted" the team's success, and Boudreau had a tough time explaining how one injury contributed so heavily to his exit.

"I don't want to put the onus on Mike getting hurt as our reason for being mediocre after that because I don't think any one man on any team should be the difference between winning and losing," Boudreau said after being fired as coach.

The definition of mediocre might be the Caps' 7-12-1 record with Green out of the lineup, most recently 14 straight games with a strained right groin. He'll miss his 15th in a row Tuesday when Washington plays host to the Philadelphia Flyers.