Lucky day for Greentree

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

CAMROSE -- Watching the replay of a hit that put him in the hospital for a couple of hours, Kyle Greentree wasn't sure what to make of the incident.

Left with only a pulled muscle and slightly bitter taste in his mouth, the Calgary Flames prospect considers himself lucky.

"It's stiff today, a bit sore, but for the most part, I got some treatment this morning and it's getting better," said Greentree.

"I think I'll be able to go here in the next couple of days.

"I'm grateful nothing serious happened. Kind of dodged a bullet there."

Drilled into the boards head-first early in the third period of an exhibition contest between the Flames and Edmonton Oilers at the Edgeworth Centre Sunday night, Greentree was initially as nervous as the standing-room-only crowd after the hit.

"My face hit the boards and I kind of heard a pop. I wasn't sure what it was and just wanted to make sure nothing serious happened," Greentree said of the check from Oilers hopeful Geoff Paukovich, who once broke a university opponent's neck with a hit from behind.

"Everything checked out. I feel good this morning."

Retaliating after taking a hit from Greentree's teammate Adam Cracknell, Paukovich slammed into the first red jersey he saw.

In a prone position a few feet away from the end boards, Greentree's fall looked nasty.

Making the sports highlights gave the 24-year-old a chance to watch replays.

"I saw it on TV. I kind of put myself in a vulnerable spot. It's a rough game and stuff like that happens," Greentree said before being asked if he considered Paukovich's hit dirty.

"Take it for what it is. It's not as if he hit me face to face," he answered.

"Some guys play like that. It's a fast game and stuff like that happens. Looking back on it, I don't know."

With St. Mary's hospital a block up the road from the arena, Greentree was quickly taken for X-rays, putting an end to a decent debut for his line.

The 6-foot-3 winger played alongside Swedish prospect Mikael Backlund and 2008 first-round pick Greg Nemisz, and the trio looked dominant at times before the blow split them up.

Avoiding a concussion, Greentree said the lengthy precautions taken to keep him still and get him onto the stretcher seemed bad but were just a matter of playing it safe because of the popping sound.

"I could have gotten up and skated to the bench and injured it more than it was," he said.

"Our trainer did a good job and our doctors did a good job."

Eager to return to the ice with his teammates after sitting out yesterday's morning skate and evening game against the Vancouver Canucks prospects, Greentree guessed he'd get back on skates today when the team practices in Calgary.

"I'm going to come by the rink tomorrow and skate and see how it goes and just get back at 'er," he said.

"This is training camp, competing for a spot."

Goaltender Kevin Lalande isn't going to recover as quickly.

He suffered a high-ankle sprain when his right foot hit a rut at the end of Sunday's morning skate, and will get an MRI in Calgary today.

"There was no give at all," said Lalande, who was expected to compete with Leland Irving and Matt Keetley for the slots in Quad City this season after taking the ECHL Las Vegas Wranglers to the Kelly Cup final.

"It's frustrating. You're in training camp, you train all summer for this," said Lalande.

"You're anxious to get back at it, and something like this happens."


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