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The Bruins Stick Together

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
RALEIGH, NC -- The Bruins face Carolina tonight, but many minds are still on the high hit that P.K. Subban landed on David Krejci on Thursday and the rapid response from Boston defenseman Andrew Ference.

Ference immediately challenged the Montreal defenseman, who then declined to drop the gloves with the Black & Gold blueliner.

"It cost us a goal, and we certainly don’t like that part of it," said Head Coach Claude Julien postgame. "[But] we can’t just be happy when it turns out well, and then criticize them when it doesn’t.

"Our guys are a group of guys that stick together, and I like to see that," was Julien's bottom line. "I’m going to go back to what I said less than a week ago, we’re going to police ourselves as far as protecting ourselves, and that’s the way we’ve decided to handle it.

"Sometimes it comes with consequences, but at the end of the day, I think that everybody knows that if they’re going to cross the line with us, they’re going to have to face the music."

On Friday, David Krejci obviously appreciated Ference having his back, but declined to talk about the hit any further, other than to say it was a clean hit.

Ference, on the other hand, said, "He hit him in the face – it was pretty high."

And Andrew would have liked a chance to settle things with Subban right then and there.

"He doesn’t have to, it’s his decision," said Ference of Subban's covering up instead of dropping his gloves. "It’s just one of those things that’s good about our sport.

"If you’re going to play a certain style and hit other teams top players like that, you don’t have to fight every time but there’s a bit of a trend. If you do it enough times – I don’t know about turtleing against the other teams smallest defenseman.

"He can play however he wants, but if it was a guy on our team I think it’d be frowned upon," he sid.

That's exactly what is taught to young players on the Bruins -- including Brad Marchand, whose play often gets under the skin of opposing players.

"We told him," said Ference. "I told him before this season even.

"We had dinner with Marchy...and said if he’s going to play that way -- he rides the line a lot -- he’s going to have to drop the gloves and own up to boarder line plays.
"And he has," added Ference. "Every room is different, every team is different so I’m not saying other teams have to play the way we do.

"But when your top players are being hit in a certain way, it’s usually not to great. I don’t think guys appreciate when a guy turtles like that."

Our guys are a group of guys that stick together, and I like to see that. - Claude Julien
Ference also wondered aloud as to whether anyone appreciates some of Subban's antics.

"Everybody has their own way. It’s not for us to judge how someone plays, but I think that’s what frustrates a lot of fans of hockey or other players around the league -- like I said, it’s really none of my business if he wants to smile and dangle, but if you hit our player up high, I felt it was high, it’s not like I’m Chara coming to pick you up over my head," said Ference, who said he was surprised he got the extra minor, which led to a CHC power play goal. "I grabbed him and gave him a fair chance to fight, it’s one thing if I come in swinging or unloading but I didn’t.

"They got a power play out of it, but that’s the referee’s discretion. That’s not my job to make that call. "

But that wasn't the end of Subban and Ference's discussion, which continued in the penalty boxes and will probably surface again when the clubs meet in the futre.

"I was just curious, like I said it’s really none of my business, but I was just curious. He’s smiling after he loses in the playoffs, he smiles in a game like that," said Ference. "Obviously, the team’s going through some turmoil – I just said keep smiling I don’t know who you’re trying to impress.

"I wasn’t chirping I was just confused."

However there's no confusion in the Bruins locker room -- if a player puts a Bruin in jeapordy with a dangerous hit, they'll will be called out and the Black & Gold hope they'll answer the bell.

"I think most guys own up, most guys that play hard they’re honest," said Ference. "If something happens to their team, they’re willing to jump in and if they do something to another team, they’re up to owning up for it and that’s our sport, that’s what’s good about our sport.

"It’s not about every hit there has to be a fight – I’m not a fan of that either – but there’s certain ones, I think everyone on the ice has a pretty good idea the time of the game, which player it’s and the type of hit is.

"Everybody has an idea of what’s right what isn’t."
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