Today Andrew Ference has a hearing with the NHL Department of player Safety regarding an elbow to the head placed on Mikhail Grabovski in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference QuarterFinals against the Maple Leafs.
The hit that is in question happened in the first period resulting in no whistle or penalty. Upon revision after the game you can see Grabovski skating towards the boards to battle Ference, each getting there at the about the same time. As Grabovski nears Ference turns his body and lifts his elbow enough that it connects higher than it should on his opponent. The question that remains, did Ference intend to hurt him or was it a simple move that wasn’t the brightest?
Grabovski was able to play the remainder of the game, including nine shifts in the first period. He finished with a career-high 15:25 of ice time. This would be Ference’s second offense should he be suspended, the first time being in the 2011-2012 season after boarding Rangers’ defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Clearly Ference can’t claim an elbow pad malfunction on this one.
[UPDATE] The NHL Department of Player Safety determined after a phone hearing with the Bruins defenseman that he will serve a one-game suspension, causing him to miss Saturday’s game against the Leafs.