Forward's act: 'An embarrassment to our game'

Updated: April 13, 2004, 9:10 PM ET
Associated Press

MONTREAL -- The Boston Bruins believe Montreal Canadiens forward Mike Ribeiro went a little overboard at the end of Game 3 when he went down with an injury.

Ribeiro fell to the ice in dramatic fashion Sunday night with 34 seconds remaining, drawing a whistle while the Bruins had pulled goalie Andrew Raycroft and were pressing for the tying goal.

A trainer appeared to treat Ribeiro's shoulder, but the Bruins suspect he embellished the injury and were incensed that he was grinning and exchanging taunts with Boston players from the bench afterward.

Montreal won 3-2 but Boston leads the first-round playoff series 2-1. Game 4 resumes Tuesday night, and Ribeiro's status is in doubt.

He did not practice Monday and is day to day. Coach Claude Julien said that Ribeiro was responding to taunts from the Boston bench.

Bruins defenseman Dan McGillis wasn't impressed.

"I think it's an embarrassment to our game to see that," McGillis said. "If he's hurt, the trainer's got to go out and help him, but you can't sit out on the ice like that and cry wolf.

"God forbid if he's injured. We thought he might have taken a stick to the throat or something where he was really injured."

Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray disputes the Bruins' take on what happened.

"The guy was hurt," Souray said. "He didn't practice, so something's up. If Boston needed something to get them motivated, we're not buying into it. Mike's getting the rest and treatment he needs and hopefully, he'll be there next game."

The Bruins didn't question whether Ribeiro was hurt. It was as how he handled it.

"There's a lot of embellishment in our game right now," Boston forward Mike Knuble said. "It's almost like soccer out there, where if a guy gets bumped, it's like there's a yard sale on the ice. There's gear everywhere.

"And they come out to take him off and there's that little smirk on his face."

One more thing to rankle the Bruins: players and fans were upset that some in the crowd of 21,273 for Game 3 booed during "The Star-Spangled Banner."

The Canadiens said they will discourage their fans from booking again.

Aside from Ribeiro, Montreal forward Steve Begin is doubtful with what the team called a "leg injury" after a collision with McGillis.

Boston forward Michael Nylander, who missed Sunday's game with flu-like symptoms, might return though he did not practice Monday.

"He's feeling a bit better and there's a decent chance he will play," Boston coach Mike Sullivan said.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE