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.

NHL has no plans to change waiver rules

Manny Malhotra Ryan Stanton
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Even with all the young players that have been healthy scratches this season, don’t expect the NHL to change its waiver rules.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told PHT in an email that it’s not something that’s “ever been considered.”

“For better or worse that’s what waiver rules are there for,” Daly wrote. “They force Clubs to make tough decisions.”

Today, Montreal defenseman Jarred Tinordi became the latest waiver-eligible youngster to be sent to the AHL on a two-week conditioning loan.

Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season. If he were still exempt from waivers, he’d have undoubtedly been sent to the AHL long before he had to watch so many NHL games from the press box.

In light of situations like Tinordi’s, some have suggested the NHL change the rules. Currently, the only risk-free way for waiver-eligible players to get playing time in the AHL is via conditioning stint, and, as mentioned, those are limited to 14 days in length.

So the Habs will, indeed, need to make a “tough decision” when Tinordi’s conditioning stint is up. Do they put him in the lineup? Do they keep him in the press box and wait for an injury or some other circumstance to create an opportunity for him to play? Do they risk losing him to waivers by attempting to send him to the AHL? Do they trade him?

Your call, Marc Bergevin.

Related: Stanislav Galiev is stuck in the NHL

Ortio clears waivers, assigned to Flames’ AHL team

Joni Ortio
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Joni Ortio has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Stockton, the Calgary Flames announced today.

The 24-year-old goalie was always likely to clear, what with his dreadful numbers this season (0-2-1, .868),

But we suppose there was always the chance he’d get picked up, so it’s a relief for the Flames all the same. With a little more time to hone his game in the AHL, Ortio could still turn out to be a quality NHL netminder.

In a related move, veteran goalie Jonas Hiller has been activated from injured reserve. Hiller and Karri Ramo are the only goalies on the Flames’ active roster now.

Price placed on injured reserve; Yakupov to miss 2-4 weeks with sprained ankle

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Two injury updates in one post.

First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.

According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.

“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.

Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.

As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.

Getzlaf didn’t love the ‘dead’ atmosphere at Coyotes game

Martin Erat, Ryan Getzlaf

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:

1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.

“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”

Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.

The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.