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Downey eager to return

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

Aaron Downey is feeling much better after suffering a concussion Tuesday night against the Flames.

MONTREAL (CP) - Aaron Downey can joke about being knocked out by an open-ice hit even if he feels Calgary's Robyn Regehr should have been penalized.

"In all honesty, I feel really good," the Montreal Canadiens enforcer said Friday. "I actually feel better than I did before the game.

"Maybe it juggled a few rocks around in there and reset everything."

Downey was flattened near centre ice by a Regehr shoulder to the jaw during the first period of the Canadiens 5-4 victory over the Flames on Tuesday night.

He spent a night in hospital, but says he is fine and that he has not experienced the headaches or nausea that are common after concussions. He is to go for further tests Saturday, but expects to be back in action soon.

The six-foot-one 210-pound winger doesn't question it was a shoulder hit and not an elbow, but wondered why Regehr wasn't called for charging. Downey had been called for charging for a less dramatic hit in the previous game against Ottawa.

"He came all the way over from the other side of the ice," said Downey. "Why he didn't get a charging penalty, I don't know.

"But I'm Aaron Downey. I'm a slug. I'm a hard-working guy, a fighter in this league and that's the way it is. There's a double standard. If I was a superstar like Saku (Koivu) or Vinny Lecavalier or someone like that he would have got kicked out of the game and maybe he would have got a couple of games suspension. They would have looked at it closer."

Downey said he was bracing for a hit from another Flames player nearby when "all of a sudden this moose came flying at me."

"I got blindsided," he said. "It was liked driving through an intersection and you get T-boned. You don't see the other car coming."

Downey lay motionless on the ice for a few minutes and had a vacant stare as he was helped off the ice by the training staff.

"I was out to lunch," he said. "Going over to the hospital I knew what was going on.

"I was a bit worried but I was more worried seeing it on TV with (his own) No. 47 laying on the ice. That bothered me."

The Canadiens won't play Calgary again this season, but Downey said he has filed it away in his memory.

"He's lucky I didn't get up or I would have pounded him," he said.

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