Andy Greene has done this before — and it’s why he was a prime candidate in the first place to step up and take over for the injured Johnny Boychuk for Game 2 of the Islanders’ Stanley Cup Qualifiers series against the Florida Panthers.
The 37-year-old former New Jersey Devils captain stepped in on Tuesday afternoon to record 16:07 of ice time and an assist in the Islanders’ Game 2 victory to go up 2-0 in the series while playing on the right side — a position he normally doesn’t play — alongside Nick Leddy.
“It’s been quite a while since I’ve played the right side,” Greene said. “It’s really important to make sure you’re in a good position and you’re constantly shoulder checking… I’ve been in all these positions before. I know what to expect.”
With 50-career playoff appearances, Greene edged the 20-year-old Noah Dobson — considered to be the next franchise blueliner — for the nod.
“When Johnny went down, it’s a great replacement,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. “He can play higher up, we can play three pairs that can be on the ice all the time. He and Nick Leddy are a great match.”
His strong performance further exhibited New York’s embarrassment of riches amongst its defense which was tested after Mike Matheson delivered a shoulder check to the head of Boychuk during the second period of Game 1 on Saturday.
Such an outing is the exact reason why the Islanders acquired him just before this season’s trade deadline while dealing with injuries to Adam Pelech and Boychuk.
“Andy is a real true pro,” head coach Barry Trotz said. “When we acquired him, we acquired him to play big minutes, and it was a very difficult decision to not start him Game 1.”
“There’s a reason why he’s been a success for this long. We’re blessed right now to have that luxury.”