BOSTON -- Early in the first period of the Bruins’ 4-1 series-opening win over the Maple Leafs, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference came up high with his elbow as he skated past Toronto forward Mikhail Grabovski and connected with Grabovski’s head. There was no penalty called on the play, but the replay clearly showed Ference raising his elbow to make contact.
Ference was asked after the game if he was concerned he may get a call from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan on Thursday and told the media he didn’t recall the play.
“I don’t even know what you’re talking about,” Ference said. “I don’t even know which play you’re talking about.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien said he wouldn’t comment on the play until he reviewed it, but Toronto coach Randy Carlyle didn’t seem to have a problem with it.
“To me, those are hits in the game,” Carlyle said. “Sometimes in the playoffs, you’re going to see physicality. It’ll be front and center. It’s a game that’s made to be physical. You’re allowed to hit people. To judge if it was offside, a bad hit or a belligerent hit, that’s not for me to judge. That’s for people in the league to make those determinations.”
This isn’t the first time Ference has been involved in a questionable play during the playoffs. During a first-round series with Montreal in 2011, Ference made an obscene gesture to Canadiens fans after scoring a goal at the Bell Centre. At the time, Ference termed it a “glove malfunction” but later admitted in a team-written book on the Bruins’ Cup-winning season that he did indeed make an obscene gesture. Ference was fined $2,500.
Will Ference call this an “elbow pad malfunction”?