Ribeiro stands ground

AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 1:41 PM ET


 It was suggested to Montreal Canadiens forward Mike Ribeiro that he wasn't hurt when he was writhing around on the Bell Centre ice on Sunday night.

 "If it had been you, you wouldn't say that," he said.

 "I never fake."

 Ribeiro missed the Canadiens practice on Monday, but was out there yesterday in Montreal and became the centre of attention in the dressing room afterward.

 He insisted when he was hit with 34 seconds left in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final against the Boston Bruins, he was genuinely hurt.

 OPINIONS

 "I couldn't feel my upper body," he said. "I was hurt and that's it. People have their opinions and I don't really care what people say.

 "For a minute, I didn't feel my upper body or my neck. But I felt fine a few minutes later. When you're hurt like that, you don't know what you have."

 He said the pain was akin to that of a pinched nerve, and that when the Bruins started taunting him, he responded, perhaps inappropriately, by laughing and gesturing.

 "Maybe with 21,000 people shouting I was hyper," he said.

 The incident generated the kind of media feeding frenzy that occurs often in the playoffs and, according to Ribeiro, amused his teammates.

 "Now that I'm okay, the guys are laughing about it."


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