Update on Kyle Clifford and Last Night’s Fights

Brad Richardson will be in the line-up tomorrow night, playing left wing.

That’s per coach Terry Murray after practice today.

You can extrapolate from that the fact that rookie Kyle Clifford will get the night off. Murray also talked about Clifford a little when talking about Kevin Westgarth’s fight last night vs. the Blues.

MM: Earlier in the season you talked about Westgarth needing to pick the right spots when engaging in a fight. Last night, early on in the game, was that the right time?

TM:  “I thought it was great. I really do. I think that was absolutely what the team needed. We didn’t respond the right way, it’s what we needed though going in. Coming off a road trip like that you need a player to really take on some of that responsibility to fire your team up and say ‘Hey, we’re here to play. We’re here to compete,’ and he did the right thing. So did Clifford. He responds the right way to get us going. These are rookie players. Westgarth is a young guy, but a rookie. And Cliffy’s 19 years old (MM: actually 20) and he recognized the need for something, again, to spark a fire here. He tried to do the right thing.”

Regarding Clifford not coming back into the game, he went on to say…

TM:  “Those are the consequences of playing that role. Hey, he’s matched up against a guy who’s five or six years older and probably 30 pounds heavier too. He’s a big guy. You probably would have liked to see a switch in partners on those two altercations (Westgarth engaged with the smaller Can Janssen).”

Regarding the new NHL protocol on concussions and how the Clifford situation was handled…

TM:  “When our trainer came and said he would not come back. I found out at the end of the first period that he had an upper body injury. Then I found out he would not be back. Certainly, you think about then. It’s the right thing. You can’t mess around with those head injuries. You have a 19 year old young guy, who’s going to be a player here for 15-20 years. You want to make sure that he’s going to get that far. You have to do the right thing and the right thing is back off and make sure everything is right before he plays again.”

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