New Jersey Devils: Andy Greene Deserves Some Credit

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 29: Andy Greene #6 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates with teammates at the bench after scoring an empty net goal to secure the win for the Devils in an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Prudential Center on December 29, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. Devils won 2-0. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 29: Andy Greene #6 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates with teammates at the bench after scoring an empty net goal to secure the win for the Devils in an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Prudential Center on December 29, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. Devils won 2-0. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The New Jersey Devils captain Andy Greene has been playing decently as of late. We need to give him credit when he plays well, like we kill him when he doesn’t.

The New Jersey Devils have been actually good since the Christmas break. They’ve won two games in a row, and MacKenzie Blackwood has been amazing in net. The Devils defense actually hasn’t been a total disaster in front of him.

One person who deserves credit when he actually plays well is Andy Greene. The Devils captain has not been good for most of this season, but he has been good as of late. It’s hard to tell what’s changed, but his decision making has been off the charts.

He’s really learned when to pinch and when to sit back. Greene’s done a lot better at getting back on 2-on-1s. He’s now a part of a play to try and stop a shot.

We know how good he’s been at blocking shots. He blocked two more on Saturday, bringing his season total to 99 blocked shots. He is one pace for a career high in blocked shots. He even had a ridiculous six blocked shots in the Devils win against the Boston Bruins. Greene is now second in the league in blocked shots, behind only Ian Cole

More from Pucks and Pitchforks

Greene has also been getting his offensive game going during the month of December. Coming into this month, he had five total points, all coming from assists. This month, he has six points with two goals. His most recent goal was an absolute rocket into the empty net Saturday afternoon to put away the Carolina Hurricanes.

Of course, we have to talk about his penalty killing. The Devils stopped all five of the Hurricanes power play opportunities. This pushed their penalty kill to an 84.3% success rate, which pushes them into the top five in the NHL. Greene is the leader on that penalty kill, and he deserves credit for how well it’s been playing as of late.

Greene’s been getting his offensive game going, and he’s been eliminating more mistakes. He’s still slow. There’s nothing he can really do about that at this point in his career, but what he can do is keep doing the things he can do well. If he eliminates more mistakes, especially in the defensive zone, then he could be a major component in why the Devils make a turnaround.