There are times when I think that some Oiler fans don’t actually watch their own team. Or, at least, I think they don’t watch them with much in the way of perspective, relative to other teams in the league.
Take for example, my suggestion a few weeks ago that Craig MacTavish take
a good, hard look at Matt Greene, a pending UFA at the end of this season. At the time, the comments poured into my office:
Are you crazy, Look how much Darryl Sutter is using him in Los Angeles, why would we want him??
Trust me, I cleaned up substantially the colorful language with which that was
said to me, but you get the idea.
Well, let’s see.
Sunday night, during a do-or-die Game 7, in arguably the most important game his team will play all season, Darryl Sutter chose not only dress Matt Greene, he leaned quite heavily on him. 13:45 of ice-time, including 3:00 on the P.K.
Greene registered 2 assists, had 6 hits, a blocked shot and was +3.
Nah, why would we ever want that on the Oilers?
Fact is, Matt Greene is a “real” NHL defenseman, and quite a good one. How many performances like the one above did the Oilers enjoy last season? Against top-notch opposition like The Chicago Black Hawks? Precious few, and certainly not under those circumstances.
Related: I really tire of people dumping all over the season of Andrew Ference. Play him 13+ minutes a night and you could expect a comparable performance from him most nights, too, allowing for the subtle difference in styles of the
Would you sooner have Matt Greene than Mark Fraser? Than Anton Belov or Phil Larsen? Corey Potter? Or (with respect), instead of younger AHL options like Brad Hunt or Taylor Fedun. Perhaps (cough) Denis Grebeshkov?
And if you argue that at the price tag he carried this past season ($3.25m) he’s
way too expensive for a 5-6 defenseman in Edmonton, I’d say:
“Add up how many losses you sat through at Rexall Place this past season, and then ask me that question again”.
If Matt Greene would return to Edmonton, the Oilers should take him up on