Home > Season Recap > The 2010-2011 Player Review: Andy Greene

The 2010-2011 Player Review: Andy Greene

Greene couldn't match his career high in points, set two seasons ago, during 2010-11. Photo Credit: Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Throughout the offseason, The Devils’ Den will break down the 2010-2011 Devils season. We’ll cover the big team stories, but also offer a breakdown of individual player performances. Today we focus on Andy Greene.

When Paul Martin left as a free agent last season, Andy Greene became the Devils’ de-facto “offensive defenseman.” In the last year of his two-year contract, the Devils’ expected Greene to step up and fulfill his offensive potential. He wouldn’t match that potential, failing to meet the expectations set by his career-best year last season.

Greene At Even Strength

Greene played in all situations for the Devils, so we’ll take a look at him in all three situations. The first area we’ll look at is even strength, where Greene spent most of his time. His average ice time of 18.18 ranked second on the team behind Henrik Tallinder despite not playing on the top pairing. His quality of competition rated a minus-.06, giving him the advantage of playing against some weak competition. Despite that, his relative player ranking checked in at minus-.83, meaning Greene was a liability in his own end. He was the only defenseman who played at least 50 games that carried a negative ranking.

Despite the low quality of competition, Greene turned in some of the worst numbers at even strength among Devils defenseman. Teams scored 63 goals with Greene on the ice, second worst on the team. For all of his supposed offensive skill, the team only averaged 1.61 goals when he was on the ice. That ranked – you guessed it – last on the team. Both numbers improved with Greene off the ice, as the team scored more and allowed less goals. The shots for/against numbers remained relatively the same with him on and off the ice.

Greene did finish with a positive Corsi rating, which is about the only thing he can hang his hat on this season. His 2.66 rating means he helped the team generate shots on net. But the team still performed better with him off the ice, recording a 4.98 Corsi rating.

Greene On The Powerplay

When the Devils weren’t using five forwards, Greene spent significant time on the powerplay. As the team’s only true “offensive defenseman,” he averaged the most time out of the group, with an average of 1.27. Yet he somehow found a way to record a negative rating, checking in with a -.26. It was second on the team, but that’s not a number you want to see from your main blueline threat on the powerplay.

The good news is he turned in positive numbers in every other important category. He was on the ice for seven powerplay goals, tops among defenseman. His plus/minus rating was 2.87, putting him behind Mark Fayne for the team lead. The team’s scoring increased slightly with him off the ice, but not enough to make Greene a detriment to the powerplay.

The biggest difference on the powerplay comes in the shot totals. With Greene on the ice, the Devils averaged 35.5 shots per 60 minutes. When he stepped off the ice, the shot total skyrocketed, moving to 50.5 shots per 60. While those numbers are inflated, it shows a definitive increase in production. Remember, however, that sometimes New Jersey used five forwards with the extra man. This strategy took away time from Greene and, with forwards on the ice, definitively increased the shot output.

Greene, a free agent this offseason, has an 83 consecutive games played streak. Photo Credit: Mike Strobel/Getty Images

Greene On The Penalty Kill

The third and final area we’ll look at is Greene’s performance on the penalty kill. We know he contributed to scoring goals on the powerplay, but it’s important to keep them out of the net on the kill. The Devils ranked 11th overall on the penalty kill, with an 83.4% kill rate. Greene’s average time on ice per 60 minutes was 2.24, ranking third on the defense. He was never one of the first killers out there, but he helped anchor the second line of defense. He usually faced the opponents best players, ranking first in quality of competition with a plus-.990 rating.

The increased competition level impacted Greene’s numbers significantly. The defenseman was on the ice for 14 goals against, turning in a plus/minus rating of minus-4.25. The team performed worse with him off the ice, however, with the plus/minus rating dipping to minus-5.43. Greene’s performance helped decrease shots, allowing opponents 36 shots against per 60. With him off the ice, New Jersey allowed 38 shots.

Playing on the penalty kill won’t help anyone’s numbers. More times than not, the players will record negative numbers. For comparison sake, I took a look at the numbers for the Penguins, who had the best penalty kill in the league (86.1%). Every single defenseman recorded a negative plus/minus number. It’s not easy to stay out of the red on the kill.

Conclusion

This season, Greene showed what he truly is – an average defenseman. That’s not an indictment of his play, as he slides in well on the second and third pairings. But I believe the organization expected too much out of him this season. Asking him to become the number one “offensive defenseman” seems, at this point, to be a little too much. Greene proved throughout college he could be an offensive threat, but not a premier NHL scorer.

Greene enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, and will look for a slight raise. Devils’ president and general manager Lou Lamoriello already made it known he wants to keep Greene.

“Andy is certainly someone who we want back,” Lamoriello told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record.

Greene fits in well with the Devils, but not as their best offensive defenseman. He only posted 23 points last year, a dip from the 37 he collected two years ago. He regressed to his mean this season, proving capable of being a solid second or third option.

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