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Greenway's hard work -- and determination to shoot -- pays dividends

Rookie tallied his first official NHL goal in Monday's loss to Vancouver

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe / Wild.com

VANCOUVER -- If Jordan Greenway is to fulfill his significant promise in the NHL, it's likely because he's learned to excel right where he did on Monday in the Wild's 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

Greenway officially scored his first NHL goal in the game, a rebound salvo from about three feet from the top of the goalie's crease.

With his 6-foot-6, 227-pound frame, it's an area of the ice where Greenway could become a force.

Video: MIN@VAN: Greenway scores first regular season goal

"Being a bigger body, it's a little bit easier getting there, to the dirty areas down low," Greenway said. "That's pretty much my spot where I'm gonna earn the money, so that's what I'm going to keep doing."

It takes time and plenty of patience for most 21-year-olds entering the NHL to finally start to feel comfortable. After finishing his junior season at Boston University last spring, a season in which he also played for the U.S. Olympic team in South Korea, Greenway joined the Minnesota lineup in time for the stretch run of the regular season and its playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets. 

Greenway skated in Minnesota's final six games of the regular campaign and in the first nine this season without registering a goal. Perhaps more alarming was his total of just eight shots.

Tweet from @mnwild: "We've been fortunate enough to mount a comeback, but eventually that's going to catch up to you...you don't score on those power plays ��� that's a point we need to take advantage of." ��� Zach Parise pic.twitter.com/r1LxPYm1CH

Needing its big winger to get right, the Wild sent him to Iowa over the weekend to gain some confidence and re-join the team in time for back-to-back games in Vancouver and Edmonton.

Greenway did just that, tallying a hat trick in Iowa on Saturday and a seemingly renewed interest in getting pucks and bodies to the goal mouth.

On Monday, he was rewarded for the effort, stuffing Charlie Coyle's rebound chance past Jacob Markstrom to get the Wild on the board in the first period. 

After going his first 16 professional games without a goal (including one game in Iowa), Greenway now has four goals in his past two outings. 

"He was skating," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "I would have liked to have gotten him out there a little more but he went to the net and he shot the puck when he had the opportunity. And that's what he's gotta go."

Video: Bruce Boudreau postgame at Vancouver

Almost as encouraging as his goal was the fact Greenway put three shots on goal on the game, one-third of his combined season total entering the contest.

In his first game in Iowa on Friday, Greenway finished with one assist and one shot on goal. He procured four shots in his three-goal game the next night.

Perhaps the Wild's message of shooting more is starting to gain traction.

"It was definitely a focus for me coming into the game," Greenway said. "I really wanted to get pucks to the net and go to the net just like I did a couple of days ago in Iowa.

Of course, it helps when that focus yields results, first at the AHL level and again Monday back in the big leagues. The Wild hopes that focus -- and the results that have come with it -- to continue.

"It [has] worked out for me," Greenway said, "so I'm gonna keep doing it."


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Video: MIN Recap: Greenway, Suter score in loss to Canucks

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