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.