He lost consciousness, a little blood and some tune-up time, but the vicious cheap shot from Steve Downie on Tuesday night did not separate Dean McAmmond from his sense of humour.
"He hit me so hard," the Senators centre said yesterday as he left Scotiabank Place, holding up a pair of freshly sharpened skates that presumably belonged to one of his young children, "that he shrunk my feet."
McAmmond had just addressed the media for the first time since he was drilled by Downie, a former Canadian junior hockey hero now a prospect trying to crack the Philadelphia Flyers roster.
The controversial check -- which is sure to earn Downie a suspension when the league gets around to making a ruling -- left McAmmond with strained neck and shoulder muscles, cuts on both his upper and lower lip and what the 15-year veteran said was the third concussion of his career.
The second came less than four months ago in the Stanley Cup final, when McAmmond was the victim of a Chris Pronger elbow.
McAmmond said he feels now like he did a couple of days after that incident and that he expects to return to the Senators lineup during the "normal period" it takes to recover from such a head injury.
"Everybody's saying I have concussion problems ... I don't feel I have a concussion problem at all," said McAmmond, 34. "I have a problem with people giving me traumatic blows to the head, that's what I have a problem with."
'JUST A YOUNG KID'
McAmmond said he received a message that Downie had phoned and when he returned the call the 20-year-old "apologized that I got hurt."
McAmmond asked if he thought Downie, who has a history of over-the-edge play, was sincerely sorry.
"I'm going to choose to believe he is," said McAmmond. "I sincerely hope that he is.
"He's just a young kid, I understand what he's trying to do (trying to make the team). I just don't agree with his thought process of getting it carried out."