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Matt Greene missed tonight’s game after Niklas Kronwall hit left him ‘wobbly’

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Greene was one of those guys who made a nice – if subtle – difference for his team. He doesn’t score many points from the blueline, but his solid (sometimes rugged) defense was an underrated element in the team’s playoff run in 2009-10.

Greene started off the 2010-11 season slowly because of off-season surgery, but played 22 consecutive games until tonight’s match against the St. Louis Blues (currently 4-4). He missed tonight’s game because he’s not feeling well after colliding with Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall, which isn’t exactly a rare reaction for a hockey player to have with a Swedish defenseman who strikes me as the Rodney Harrison of hockey.

(To be fair, Kronwall isn’t quite as dirty as the oft-suspended former NFL safety occasionally was.)

There was some confusion from Kings coach Terry Murray, who was surprised that Greene didn’t return to that game after the hit and seemed to be a bit in the dark about the status of his “wobbly” defenseman.

“I’m not feeling that well,” Greene said after today’s morning skate, in which he did not participate. “It’s probably about the same as yesterday, but I just thought it would get better with time. So far, it hasn’t.”

Greene left Monday’s game after the first period, and Murray expressed some confusion as to why Greene did not return to the game. Murray pronounced Greene ready to play, and Greene practiced Wednesday in St. Louis, but Murray said Greene came to him this morning and said he did not feel well enough to skate. Murray was asked if Greene’s change in status surprised him…

MURRAY: “Yeah, it does. After the conversations I had immediately after the game in Detroit the other night, and then through the day off — we had the off-ice workout — everything was great. I had a meeting, actually, with my leadership group upstairs, and he’s a part of that, and everything was good. He practiced yesterday.”

“Wobbly” sounds a bit like the symptoms of a concussion, but I’m no doctor. Then again, maybe Greene should see one if his problems continue.

Check out video of the hit below.

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Caggiula expected to sign shortly, Canucks could be front-runners

during the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championships at Amalie Arena on April 9, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.The North Dakota Fighting Hawks defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats 5-1 to win the national title. Getty
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College free agent Drake Caggiula is expected to pick a team shortly, possibly even today.

The University of North Dakota winger had originally shortlisted six teams, according to a report. Those teams were Philadelphia, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver, Chicago and Buffalo.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie said this morning on Edmonton radio that the Canucks are “maybe” the front-runners to land the 21-year-old. Vancouver signed Caggiula’s teammate, defenseman Troy Stecher, a couple of weeks ago, and Caggiula’s linemate, Brock Boeser, was drafted by the Canucks in the first round last year.

Recently, Boeser told Postmedia that he was trying to convince Caggiula to sign with Vancouver, where there will be plenty of opportunities for young forwards in the next couple of years.

If it’s not the Canucks, McKenzie said he’s heard the Oilers have a “puncher’s chance” of getting Caggiula.

Vigneault will be behind the Rangers’ bench in 2016-17

New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault runs a practice at NHL hockey training camp Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, in Greenburgh N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
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The New York Rangers may have been bounced in the opening round of the 2016 playoffs, but they aren’t looking to make a coaching change. In a phone interview with Montreal’s LaPresse newspaper, Alain Vigneault confirmed that he’ll be back behind the Rangers’ bench next season.

“I’ve had discussions with the club’s front office and they told me that they wanted me to come back next season,” Vigneault told LaPresse (quotes have been translated by PHT).

Vigneault and Rangers management will meet in Palm Springs next week to discuss what went wrong in 2015-16.

Even though the season didn’t go the way the Rangers had hoped, Vigneault insists he was never worried about losing his job.

“I don’t really worry about that stuff,” Vigneault said of the rumors surrounding his job security. “There’s 82 games in a season plus the playoffs and you can’t start thinking about your fate after each game. After a loss, you forget it and start thinking about the adjustments you need to make. In regards to our situation, we still managed to pick up 101 points this season. That’s a good season, but we still expected more from our team in the playoffs.”

Like every off-season, there will be changes, but Vigneault isn’t expecting any major ones.

“There’s definitely going to be changes. I don’t know if there’ll be big changes because today, it’s hard to make big changes. With the salary cap, it’s not realistic to think that way.”

When pressed about potential changes, Vigneault wasn’t willing to elaborate.

Vigneault also touched on the way Dan Boyle went after two reporters at the team’s year-end media availability. It’s safe to say he wasn’t thrilled about the way the whole thing went down.

“It’s a lesson for me and our whole team,” added Vigneault. “It’s disappointing because Dan had a really nice career. He won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay, but all people will remember him for is this incident. What happened with him really surprised us. It’s too bad. I hope people will remember him for the career he had.”

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

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The Stanley Cup playoffs continue with one game on Friday night. You can catch tonight’s action via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Tampa Bay at NY Islanders (7:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 4 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Lightning lead the series 2-1.

Here’s some relevant reading material you might enjoy:

No hearings scheduled for Boyle on Hickey hit, or Hickey on Drouin hit

Lightning take dramatic OT win vs. Islanders, go up 2-1 in series

WATCH LIVE: Canada-USA (IIHF World Hockey Championship)

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A huge tilt on day one of the World Hockey Championships, as Canada and the USA clash in Russia. You can watch the game online using the NBC Sports Live Extra app.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Canada came away with a gold medal in last year’s tournament while the United States took home the bronze. Of course, each team’s roster changes significantly every year.

The USA’s next game is tomorrow against Belarus. Canada will play Sunday against Hungary.