Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Mr. Heart-and-Soul Dean McAmmond is once again the victim of a dirty shot to the head. Steve Downie, also known as 'dickhead', has been put on notice (see left) for his charging/elbowing/boarding penalty when he hit D-Mac.

Many of you will remember when Chris Pronger threw his forearm to the head of M.C. 'Ammer, which resulted in a concussion for McAmmond.

Rumour has it that McAmmond's latest injury is a combination head/shoulder injury, likely including a concussion. McAmmond appeared to be bleeding from both his nose and his mouth, and the on-ice crew was seen cleaning it up after the event. McAmmond was talking to paramedics on his way off the ice, and Sportsnet reported at 10:40 p.m. Tuesday night that he was moving his arms and legs.

As someone who was at the game, I can attest to the tension and suspense in the game, as everyone was waiting to see if McAmmond would wave to the crowd to show he was okay. McAmmond lying prostrate on the ice was extremely scary for everyone there, and likely everyone watching. The situation was made more concerning directly after the hit, when a brawl broke out right beside McAmmond. While someone did fall on top of him, and people were all around him, hopefully it didn't worsen the injury.

Downie's got a history of dirty hockey, including most notably an incident with former OHL teammate Akim Aliu, when Downie cross-checked and then fought Aliu during a practice--while on the same team. Wow, class act. See the full story and video here. Count on a suspension to include the pre-season and more, with 12-15 regular-season games coming into effect if and when Downie plays in the NHL, whether that's this season or in the future. If he plays Ottawa this season, Brian McGrattan has said that "he'll get what's coming to him."

In the end, the Sens won the game 4-2, thanks to goals from Daniel Alfredsson (a beauty short-handed breakaway), Joe Corvo (wicked shot from the point), Jason Spezza (the puck hit him and went in), and Shean Donovan (who'll have to thank Chris Neil for it). Ray Emery played the first two periods, surrendering two goals on nine shots. Both Philly goals were glove-side, so either Rayzor's glove-hand is slow, or he was nervous on the prospect of re-injuring the hand he recently had surgery on. Martin Gerber played the third, and stopped all eleven shots he faced--including a few good chances.

It looks like McAmmond will probably miss a lot of action this season, since--given the cumulative nature of head injuries--the team won't risk bringing him back in the lineup too quickly. Christoph Schubert, therefore, will likely play forward, so Larry Nycholat and Luke Richardson will be the sixth and seventh defencemen (though not necessarily in that order). There are then two spots on forward, and two of likely Ilya Zubov, Alex Nikulin, Josh Hennessy, and Nick Foligno will take those spots.

The most important story of the night, however, is obviously the injury to McAmmond. We'll bring more information regarding his status and a Downie suspension as it becomes available. Let's all hope Deaner is alright, and can play again.
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