Although Matt Greene missed the first month of the regular season recuperating from off-season hip surgery, the rugged defenseman was an immediate impact to a Kings' lineup that stormed right out of the gate when the puck first dropped to open the 2010-11 campaign.
Greene played in 75 games in 2009-10 where he collected nine points. This past season, Greene did two better, collecting 11 points in 71 games. Greene's penalty minutes also dropped from 83 in 2009-10 to 70 this past season, which either means that he would've had as many PIMs had he played in a few more games or the 6'3, 237-pounder has learn to be a little more disciplined. Say what you will but, as an optimist, I'll take the latter any day.
Sure, Matt Greene didn't put many points but, let's face the facts, that's not his role on this team. So, let's focus on what he's on the Kings for: dishing out punishment and blocking key shots.
In four games this season, Matt Greene recorded 243 hits, five better than his total the previous season. Greene had a great 2010-11 where he blocked 126 shots. Although his total was good this past season, his 105 in 2010-11 is not quite up-to-par on what the Grand Ledge, Michigan is truly capable of.
Greene failed to record a single point in this year's playoff but, with only one assist in last year's post-season, it's not a huge let down. His lack of discipline, however, was very apparent as, in six games against San Jose, he recorded 14 penalty minutes, which was a significant jump from the zero he recorded in six games against Vancouver last spring.
His Giveaways/Takeaways ratio was 38/8 this season, which was a little better (but also a little worse) from his 34/4 the year before.
Matt Greene is still a positive force on the Kings' blueline but he needs to contain himself and stay out of the box as much as he can. Overall, Los Angeles was okay with that as they were one of the better teams on the penalty-kill but even so, a little discipline definitely wouldn't hurt.
Greene could always sacrifice his body to block a shot here and there, although there's no need for any drastic improvement. After all, his totals only fell off pace just a little. He continues to deliver key hits, which can sometimes shift momentum in his team's favour so, in terms of that department, Greene just needs to keep doing what he's doing.
Overall, I'm impressed with Matt Greene's showing this past season. He's had some downs but a lot of good that came from his game. Greene definitely knows his role with the Los Angeles Kings is key to whatever success they have next year.