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With next to nothing happening in the hockey world now, and throughout the month of August as a whole, I thought it'd be a good time to profile members of the New Jersey Devils.
I'll be commenting on the year they had as well as their projected role and expectations moving forward.
I kicked things off Tuesday when I profiled Damon, aka Baemon, Severson. Today we're going with his usual partner in crime, Andy Greene.
82 games played, 25 points (five goals, 20 assists), 20:50 average time on ice
.66 points/60, -2.37 CF% Rel, -.4.23 GF% Rel, -2.65 xGF% Rel, 98.4 PDO
Last season was a mixed bag for Greene. His relative numbers weren't *that* bad considering he played some of the toughest minutes in the league. And, no, that's not an exaggeration. Only 11 defenders spent more time on the ice against elite competition, per PuckIQ. He contributed more offense than we've been accustomed to seeing, putting up 25 points for the first time since 2013-14. He was an excellent penalty killer, too. That's the positive outlook.
The negative outlook is this: Greene is usually not a guy you notice very often. That wasn't the case last season, and for the wrong reasons. It felt like he was caught out of position, beat off the rush or out-muscled around the net on a much more frequent basis than in the past. The numbers back that up. Never before was Greene on the ice for more attempts, chances, high-danger looks, or goals against on a per 60 basis than last season.
Among 64 defenders to log 150+ minutes on the penalty kill, Greene ranked 5th in goals against/60 and 6th in expected goals against/60. While his defensive prowess has taken a hit at 5v5, the man can still kill penalties.
Greene's numbers have dipped pretty consistently for three years in a row, which probably isn't a coincidence at 36 years of age. He simply isn't what he once was.
One has to hope, and think, he'll take on a lesser role at evens this season, be it Sami Vatanen (shifting to the left), Will Butcher (being handed a larger role, which I think he deserves), Ty Smith, or anyone else eating into his minutes.
If he plays a mix of LD2/LD3 and maintains a regular spot on the PK, I think he'll be able to handle himself more adequately. Let's hope that's John Hynes' plan.
2019 player profile: Damon Severson
On Will Butcher's three-year extension
On Nikita Gusev and an optimal top-6
On the Nikita Gusev trade
Taking stock of the Metro Division
Pavel Zacha will play an important role in 2019-20
Wayne Simmonds' poor 2018-19 campaign was not a one-off
The Devils should extend Nico Hischier sooner than later