Defenseman Andy Greene briefly hit the unrestricted free agent market briefly Friday, but the New Jersey Devils didn’t let him last very long. They signed him to a four-year deal today. We’ll update this post with the financial details once they’re released.
Greene has been a bit of an under-the-radar asset on New Jersey’s drastically weaker blueline during the last two seasons in particular. He’s come a long way from being an undrafted free agent, scoring a career-high 37 points in 2009-10 and 23 in 10-11. He’s received big minutes the last two seasons as well, averaging more than 23 in 09-10 and more than 22 in 10-11. Only Ilya Kovalchuk (a rare forward who lead his team in ice time) and Henrik Tallinder earned slightly higher time on ice averages than Greene last season.
The only downside to Greene’s last two seasons is that he went from +9 in 09-10 to -23 in 10-11. That signifies that he’s probably the product of his environment at times – he’s not the type to be “the only plus player on a bad team” – but he’s still been a solid offensive defenseman for the Devils. It seems like a good idea for New Jersey, as long as his price was reasonable.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: