September 26, 2007
Hey Downie, heads upMcAmmond injured by dirty hit
By BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media
Senators winger Brian McGrattan has vowed to get revenge for fallen teammate Dean McAmmond.
McAmmond was taken off the ice on a stretcher and transported to hospital after suffering a concussion following a dirty hit to the head 2:39 into the second period by Philly's Steve Downie.
"There's no place in the game for that stuff," a seething McGrattan said after the game. "That was a dirty hit and he's a dirty player. He's known for that and he'll get what's coming to him next time we play him, for sure.
"You don't want to see stuff like that. We're not out there to kill each other. At this level, he'll get what's coming to him."
Downie, 20, who was drafted in the first round by the Flyers in the 2005, earned a reputation with the OHL's Peterborough Petes and Kitchener Rangers for being a hit-and-run artist.
The Senators weren't going to let Downie get away with the hit as Christoph Schubert jumped Downie and McGrattan fought Jesse Boulerice.
The Senators were steamed after their 4-2 victory.
"When the stretcher comes out, it's a terrible thing. I think everybody wanted a piece of Steve Downie," said Ottawa winger Shean Donovan, who was on the ice at the time. "I didn't see the hit, but from I've heard he's pretty gutless. He's proven it in junior and now he's showing it up here."
With McAmmond circling the net after moving the puck, Downie -- who was mad after being hit along the boards by Schubert just moments earlier -- flew in and left his feet to nail McAmmond with a shoulder to the face.
While Schubert and McGrattan jumped in to defend their fallen teammate, it was a frantic scene as athletic therapist Gerry Townend and club physician Dr. Don Chow tried to attend to McAmmond. Winger Patrick Eaves was sent down the ice to help three paramedics bring a stretcher out and attend to McAmmond.
Downie was assessed a five-minute major and a match penalty by officials Dave Jackson and Francois St. Laurent. A match penalty carries an automatic, indefinite suspension and it means Downie will have a hearing with NHL VP Colin Campbell to see if there will be supplementary discipline.
"It will be interesting. I don't know what the league can do with a player who is probably going to be in the minors," said Ottawa coach John Paddock. "It's one of those totally unnecessary ones."
Downie claimed innocence.
"I've got to finish my checks," said Downie. "I didn't mean to hit him late. I hope he's okay."
The Senators weren't buying it.
"He's in the big leagues now and he's got to play with the big boys," said Ottawa's Chris Neil. "A guy like Sean Avery runs around, but he backs it by dropping the gloves. (Downie) won't do it at all."
The incident overshadowed the return of Senators goalie Ray Emery, who played for the first time since having off-season wrist surgery.