For Kings defenseman Matt Greene, that’s all he’s wanted to so since late January. Like the story of Willie Mitchell missing the season with a knee injury, everybody reading this knows Greene injured his back in the first game of the 2013 season and underwent surgery shortly thereafter.
What most people didn’t get to see was all the hard work that he had to put in over the next three months just to be where he is today – slugging it out in the NHL playoffs.
And he places much of the credit for his return to action at the feet of his teammates, the group he desperately wanted to be part of again.
“That’s what drives you,” he told MayorsManor. “Playing hockey games is the funnest part, but hanging out with the guys and sharing in it is just as important. I think that’s the main thing. That’s what can help a lot of teams succeed and win championships, is the caring for each other on the ice and off the ice. That’s the fun part – playing and being able to share the experience with 24 of your best buddies.”
Just don’t look for Greene to bask in the glow of all the praise that’s been thrown his way since he returned to the Kings’ lineup in Game 4.
“I don’t really pay attention to that,” he said, in reference to the positive press he’s received this week. “That’s something that goes away just as fast as it comes, so it’s not a big deal. Seriously, it’s not.”
When it comes to all the encouraging things his teammates have been saying about him though, he’ll humbly accept and acknowledge their words…before deflecting the attention once again.
“It’s nice, it’s good,” Greene remarked. “It’s fun to hear that. But, at the same time too, we have a group here that has been together for a long time. Even the guys who haven’t been here as long, they’ve done a good job of bringing in personalities that really mesh together. It’s a real tight-knit locker room. It’s the best I’ve ever been apart of. I think everybody adds a lot of character to it. So, it’s fun to be back playing. It’s fun that the guys appreciate that, too.”
Everybody appreciates him being back.
Even the guys asking questions in the room.
Because, after all, who else is willing to go toe-to-toe in a battle of one-liners with Dustin Penner?
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