This season, Jordan Greenway has played a total of 2 minutes and 58 seconds for the Minnesota Wild. He played against the Boston Bruins and left early into the second period. He has not appeared in any game since.
With forwards Ryan Hartman, Brandon Duhaime, and Marcus Foligno out, The Wild needs ‘The Big Rig’ back in a big way.
Fortunately, he is returning to practice and will be able to travel with the team on their upcoming trip out to the west coast. In fact, he is expected to make his return to the lineup for the Wild’s matchup with the Los Angeles Kings.
As all Wild fans know, Greenway paired up with Foligno and Joel Eriksson Ek last season to make the infamous GREEF line that dominated possession statistics. With Foligno out, there are reports that Greenway will slot into that second-line role with Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy.
Both of those players have both been rock stars offensively this year, especially on a power play that ranks Top 10 in the league. Foligno is expected to make his return during the Wild’s west-coast road trip as well.
When you think of Wild hockey you think of tough, hard-nosed, grinding hockey from guys like Ryan Hartman, Foligno, and Brandon Duhaime. Neither played when the Wild got dominated at home by a much larger and more physical team in the Seattle Kraken.
Greenway brings a physical presence to the Wild fthat they have been lacking recently. The guys on the back end do a fine job laying the body, although I’d like to see it a little more.
Until the return of both Duhaime and Foligno, Greenway will have to be the player that the coaching staff looks at to establish the tough physical presence the Wild like to play with.
Connor Dewar is also key in filling in for the Wild’s missing forwards. He is third on the team in hits and picks up a lot of the slack from Duhaime. He is trusted with a lot of the responsibility in the defensive zone. Just look at his defensive zone start percentage (dZS%); it’s third on the team at a whopping 61.5%.
Wild general manager Bill Guerin sat down with Greenway in the 2021 off-season and pushed him to be better. He then went on to have the best year of his career and we were all expecting big things out of him this season on the start of his new three-year deal.
Greenway is a matchup nightmare for other teams. It’s incredibly rare to have a guy who is 6 foot, 6 inches skating the way he can. but I’d understand if they take it easy with Greenway right out of the gate considering what happened last game.
He should be paired up with his buddy Ek down the middle and f Boldy. The pressure won’t be on him to score. He’ll be able to focus on what he does best and what the Wild desperately needs him to be.
Greenway plays with heart and he’s itching to get back out there. He works hard and his play will be rewarded.
The Big Rig is going to be big, be aggressive, and lay the lumber and Wild fans can’t wait to get back out on the ice in LA.