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Mike Green thinks this is the best Capitals team he's ever played on

Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals are back amongst the NHL elite.

Using a 7-2-1 surge to skyrocket to fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, the Capitals have clinched a playoff spot for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

Washington used to be known as a pure offensive squad that, in 2009-10, scored 318 goals and dominated the standings with 121 points.

Those high-scoring teams of the past didn't come to the mind of defenseman Mike Green when he mentioned to ESPN's Craig Custance that this season's group is the best he's been a member of. 

“By far the best team we’ve had overall,” said Green. “In my 10 years here, absolutely.”

A change in philosophy to become more of a defensive-minded team, that still features offensive weapons in Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, has seemingly worked under head coach Barry Trotz in his first season at the team's helm.

The offensive-minded Green, who has twice hit the 70-point mark in his career, has 45 points in 70 games.

- With h/t to Pro Hockey Talk

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