SUN Hockey Pool

Flames, Oilers react to McAmmond

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Dion Phaneuf is known for his bone-crunching, teeth-rattling body checks.

Yet the Calgary Flames defenceman has no use for the devastating and vicious hit Philadelphia Flyers rookie Steve Downie threw Tuesday night on Dean McAmmond.

"It looked like he left his feet, and that's not in the rule book," Phaneuf said yesterday, "If you hit a guy, hit him clean. Hitting a guy when he's vulnerable is not acceptable in this game."

Downie, who has been suspended indefinitely by the league pending a review, jumped into McAmmond long after he'd passed the puck and sent his shoulder into McAmmond's face. The ex-Flames player was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher and suffered a concussion.

The hit was a huge topic of conversation among players around the league, including both Flames and Edmonton Oilers yesterday. McAmmond has played for both teams.

Flames captain Jarome Iginla, no stranger to physical play, said Downie's actions crossed the line.

"On one side, you realize Steve Downie plays hard and he's trying to make the team, but it looked like he left his feet, and you hate to see that," Iginla said. "You hate to see Dean McAmmond, you hate to see any player being carried off the ice on a stretcher."

Iginla pointed out Downie's hit went too far seeing as he could have made a highlight-reel check without jumping into McAmmond.

"If you don't leave your feet there, he still gets a big hit. But a lot of us felt it was charging," Iginla said. "As players, we're responsible to not put ourselves in that (vulnerable) position, but it happens. You hope there won't be the full impact, but you can understand and respect when it's within the rules."

Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish didn't mince words, saying it was a hit that warrants a suspension.

"That's everything we're talking about trying to take out of the game," he said. "It really looked like he was trying to hurt the player. Catching a guy in a vulnerable position, leaving your feet, trying to hurt the player, head shot. It's all criteria for suspension."


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