Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference was given a game misconduct and a major penalty for charging New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh in overtime Saturday, and faces a possible suspension from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.
"Well it’s one of the most dangerous hits I’ve seen in a while," said Rangers head coach John Tortorella. "Nothing has to be said, as far as what should be done. I’m not going to play that, but it’s a pretty easy call as far as I’m concerned."
After the game, Ference was very honest about the hit, and admitted he had not yet seen the replay when reporters spoke to him.
“I’m obviously going as fast as I can to get to the puck, and when I realized I wasn’t going to get there first, he boxed me out. I tried to lean back, but I was going too fast," said Ference. "Obviously it was a dangerous position. I tried to let up and didn’t let up fast enough.” “I honestly haven’t seen the replay, so I don’t know how it looks,” he added.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien gave his own thoughts on the hit after the game.
"What I do know is there was no intent to injure there," said Julien. "Certainly we don’t like to see that; it’s an unfortunate thing. It was a great game. You don’t want to see a player get injured," said Julien.
"Ference isn’t a dirty player," Julien added. "He’s one of those guys who supports what the league is trying to do as far as minimizing those injuries. It was a player chasing the puck, and when he did get hit, his legs were pretty far apart. There wasn’t a good balance from their player and [it] certainly resulted in an unfortunate thing."
This is a hit that has no place in hockey, and it would be surprising to see Ference escape a suspension from Shanahan. Ference is not a dirty player, but the league will likely want to make a point in this case that these types of hits are not allowed.
Ference tried to hold up, but it wasn't a hit he had to deliver. It was wreckless, dangerous, and could result in a one or two-game suspension from the league.