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January 25, 2011 2:00 pm

Kyle Clifford, one bad dude

After he praised goalie Jonathan Quick last night, assistant captain Matt Greene made a point of singling out rookie winger Kyle Clifford for giving the team a lift through his first-period fight with Boston’s Shawn Thornton. Greene referred to Cliiford as “one bad dude,” and it’s tough to argue. Today, I asked Greene to elaborate on last night’s thoughts, particularly in terms of how Clifford’s play has the ability to lift his teammates…

GREENE: “It’s just a guy making the ultimate sacrifice. They’re trying to get the momentum going, and it’s the hardest job in hockey, for sure. He’s a guy who came in here, and both he and Westie [Kevin Westgarth] have done a great job for us this year. I think it’s lost on a lot of people, some of the guys he’s fighting. Thornton, I don’t even know how old he is, but he’s 12, 13 older than him, and there’s no fear. The way he goes about what he does, it’s amazing. It’s amazing to all of us, and you just want to let guys like that know that they’re appreciated and how valuable they are to a team.”

Answer: So that’s palpable on the bench, right? I see you guys banging your sticks on the boards, that sort of thing…

GREENE: “It’s huge. He’s got everybody’s respect in this room. At the same time, you can just tell from the way he approaches the game and the way he battles, that he will do anything for us. I know that I, and I’m sure everybody else in this room, would do the same thing for him, too. It’s amazing to watch him go out there and do it every night, him and Westie. It’s a tough job, and you just want them to know they’re appreciated.”

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