Excitement grew in Detroit, when the Red Wings announced that they had signed Mike Green. At long last, they had a defenseman with a right hand shot for more than just after the trade deadline (Marek Zidlicky, we’re looking at you).
Despite the questionable contract, Mike Green added a lot to the team. He was one of Detroit’s better defensemen this season, and added some mobility and offensive prowess to their blue line. Long are the days of 30 goal, point per game seasons like his prime in Washington, but he’s still an effective player.
Like I said, these aren’t the days of 30 goal scorer Mike Green, especially considering the lack of scoring on the Red Wings in comparison to the Capitals. He finished 7th on the team in scoring, first among defensemen, beating out Niklas Kronwall by nine points. While it is his sixth most productive season of his career, it is his worst full season, with the exception of his second year, which was his first full season. Obviously, he’s beginning to experience his regression, which one should expect from a defenseman who will be 31 at the start of next season. So, while it was a bit easier to rely on him for offense from the back end this season, it’s not a good idea to continue this going forward.
If there was anything that Green lacked offensively, he made up for it defensively. His 55.2 CF% is fourth among regular Red Wings, while both his 56.64 CF60 and 45.96 CA60 were sixth. Combine this with his solid contribution this season, and he might be making that $6 million contract worth it.
His goal based numbers are a slight cause for concern, as being on the ice for more goals against than for is an obvious issue. But, it’s only a -3, and all that while the team was shooting only 6.7%, and the goalies were stopping 91.74% of their shots faced with him on the ice. So, he managed to have a slightly negative goal differential, while facing some pretty bad luck.
Like his corsi, Green’s scoring chance numbers are one of the best on the team. They are a slight decline from his Corsi numbers, but a lot of that could be due to the Red Wings giving up a lot of scoring chances, part of why the “eye test” might not pass to a lot of these players. Regardless, he still does an effective job creating and preventing scoring chances.
Basically the same as Corsi and Scoring Chances. He’s one of the best on the team regarding Fenwick, and he’s good at both creating and preventing them. This fact that his Fenwick numbers are in between Corsi and scoring chances continue to prove the point that a fair chunk of the shot attempts he allows are higher quality chances.
Green’s 2016-17 season will likely depend on what Detroit does in the offseason. If they acquire a top 2 defenseman, then Green will see less of a role, and is more likely to excel considering his age. His point total might drop to mid 20s, due to the fact that he would see less of a role on the power play, and less ice time would decrease his 5v5 points. His possession would improve though, because he’s face easier competition, and play with better players.
However, if Detroit doesn’t get a top 2 defenseman, and decides to either resign Quincey or replace him with another Quincey-like defenseman, then Green will continue in his current role, and while his point totals might not drop AS much due to maintaining ice time, but he will probably struggle more than he did this year. So don’t expect a huge drop, but expect a slight decline in either scenario.
Mike Green had an excellent start to his Red Wings career, as he did everything that he was asked to do. He provided solid production, and was reliable in his own end.
However, this isn’t the Mike Green that we knew in Washington, and while he is a solid option as a top pair defenseman, if he is still Detroit’s best all around defenseman by the time his contract is up, then Ken Holland isn’t doing his job.
Considering that he was playing in a third pair d-man role in his late years in Washington, I wasn’t expecting much from Green in his return to a top pair role, but he gave me a pleasant surprise this season.