During the third period of last night’s tightly contested overtime Game 7 between the Bruins and Canadiens, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference laid a “questionable” hit on Canadiens forward Jeff Halpern. The two collided in the Bruins defensive zone as the B’s carried the puck out of the zone.
Ference had a phone hearing today with NHL officials. After talking with Ference the NHL deemed the hit to be clean, and no suspension was given to Ference.
This was Ference’s second hearing in as many weeks. Last week No. 21 was fined $2,500 for an obscene gesture after scoring a goal in Game 4.
Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli agreed with the NHL’s ruling.
“When it first happened, I wasn’t [worried]. When I took a closer look at it — because I thought it was just incidental contact – when I took a closer look at it I could see where the league’s concerns lied,” said Chiarelli during a TD Garden press conference today. “But when you look at the whole play, we turned the puck over at our blue [line] and when that happens, the D are supposed to close off the rim around the wall. So he was moving that way, and what Andy said was that he just saw [Halpern] off his shoulder as he was moving. He was looking up because he saw the turnover. His motion and [Halpern’s] motion, they ran into each other.”
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the play, you be the judge, was it dirty or not?