BOSTON, MA -- Instead of fielding questions about his second period goal, after the B's 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference had to answer questions about his overtime hit on Ryan McDonagh.
"Well, I’m obviously going as fast as I can to try and get to the puck," began Ference. "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.
"It was a dangerous position, so I tried to let up and didn’t let up fast enough."
Asked if he thought the play might elicit a response from the NHL, Ference said, "It might."
"I honestly haven’t seen the replay, so I don’t know how it looks," he added. "I just know the intent, obviously, I feel like I’m leaning back, but obviously didn’t slow up fast enough.
"It’s really their call."
Head Coach Claude Julien was asked if he thought Ference might receive a call from the NHL.
"I don’t think it really matters what I think about it because the decision is certainly not going to be mine," said Julien. "What I do know is there was no intent to injure there."
However, the play ended with McDonagh being attended to by the New York training staff.
"It was a great game; you don’t want to see a player get injured," said Julien. "It just made for an unfortunate ending to a great game.
"Ference isn’t a dirty player – 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.
"We’ll let the league look at it," continued Julien. "They dissect things in their own way, and we’ll just wait to hear from them."
Ference admitted to feeling helpless after the play.
"That’s the way to describe it," said Ference. "Like I said, I didn’t see how it looks as far as I was obviously going very fast.
"So, you try to let up and try to hold up and do what they teach you, but obviously it was a bad end result with him going in pretty hard."
And as far as the immediate consequences of the hit -- McDonagh down, a 5-minute major and game misconduct and an overtime goal from Marian Gaborik -- Ference was clear about his feelings.
"You don’t want to...cause somebody injury or something like that," said Ference. "The five minutes obviously doesn’t help the team, but on top of that, you just hope you don’t put a guy in a bad spot.