Steve Downie could have taped a dozen eggs to his sweater last night and still had enough left over after the game to make an omelet. That's because the Senators decided not to challenge Downie to a fight in a 6-1 loss to the Flyers, the first time they faced him after Downie nearly tore teammate Dean McAmmond's head off in the pre-season.
Why that is, I have no idea.
Are the Senators trying to bring back their past reputation for being a team that anyone could walk over? It's not like the game was close after the first period so the Senators weren't trying to avoid an instigator penalty. And it's not like Downie wasn't available. He played over 10 minutes although saw little time in the third period. What was Chris Neil doing? If he's not going to go after Downie, what does an opposing player have to do to get his ire up?
I'm not saying that Downie should have been jumped. But why not challenge him to a fight? I am pretty sure that Downie received only one hit and that was by Neil in the first period. No one else who fights (Brian McGrattan left early after injuring his shoulder in a scrap with Riley Cote) bothered to interest themselves enough to make a statement in a game that badly needed one. Shean Donovan, Mike Fisher, Luke Richardson and of course Neil, basically let Downie off the hook.
You have to wonder how McAmmond feels about living in the Twilight Zone. First his head coach openly praises Downie in the national media and then no one says a peep to Downie last night.
With friends like that, who needs enemies?