Is there friction in the Bruins’ dressing room?

The Bruins are the Canadiens foe tonight and the big story around them lately has been the remarks of defenceman Andrew Ference last Thursday following the blindside hit by teammate Daniel Paille on Dallas forward Raymond Sawada (below).

Sawada suffered a separated shoulder and a broken nose from the hit and the NHL suspended Paille for four games. Afterward, in the Bruins dressing room, Ference raised more than a few eyebrows when he criticized Paille for the hit.

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Ference said he had thought a good deal about the way Sidney Crosby had
reacted, not being critical of Penguins teammate Matt Cooke after
Cooke’s blindside headshot on Marc Savard last year but outspoken about
blindside hits in January after he had been the victim. Ference said he wanted to be a good teammate, but he also felt it was important to not go against principle.

“I mean, it’s a bad hit, right?” Ference said on the Bruins’ NESN post-game show (video) That’s what they’re trying to get rid of
and you can’t be a hypocrite and complain about it when it happens to
you, and say it’s fine when your teammate does it. So, it’s a hit
they’re trying to get rid of. I mean you hear it from every player after
they do it, and they feel bad, and it’s same thing: I talked to Danny
and he feels bad. It’s tough. That backchecking forward, to make those
kind of hits now, it’s so hard to do it in a clean fashion with the new
rules. So, it is what it is. He hurt the guy, and I’m sure he’ll have a
little conversation.”

And just so everyone heard him, shortly after, interviewed on the NHL Network, Ference said “The worst thing is when guys are hypocritical about hits and when a guy’s on your team, you hate to see that happen just as much as when your guy doe sit to somebody else. So it’s the hit they’re trying to get rid of. Whether it happens to us or we do it, it can’t happen and I’m sure, you know, I just talked to (Paille) two seconds ago and he feels awful about it and I’m sure that’s the same sentiment as anybody that has one of those hits. But at the end of the day, it’s the hit they’re trying to get rid of, it’s a hit that hurt the guy and it’s one of those things. You’ve got to get rid of it and it’s dangerous.”

Many in the media praised Ference for his honesty but, needless to say, Ference’s words didn’t sit very well with some of his teammates, including Paille, who said he didn’t think it was a bad hit and most of his teammates would agree. Some, like Bob McKenzie speaking Friday morning on the Team 990, said the big problem with Ference’s opinion was that he offered it before the NHL came down with a ruling.

Trying to diffuse any controversy, Patrice Bergeron, who also has been a headshot concussion victim, restated his position (video) that players have to be aware of the way they hit an opponant and denied there was a problem in the B’s room calling any bad feelings “more smoke than fire in the media.”

Don Cherry wasn’t buying it. After the B’s dropped a 2-0 game to the Sharks on Saturday afternoon, he blasted Ference on Coach’s Corner Saturday night (video) saying even if your teammate is an axe murderer, “you never go to the press and say that was a bad hit….I’d hate to be in that dressing room right now. See what happened in the
game today? 2-0. That brings your dressing room down when you have a
guy in the dressing room talking about your own players and you know
he’s going to be suspended.”

And it hasn’t died down yet. In this morning’s Boston Globe, sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy led off his piece with “Andrew Ference is my hero,” and went on from there not just to recount the entire incident but to ask a number of players what they think about Ference and Paille. He asked the two if they had second thoughts about things but they stuck to their guns. He asked Savard, who said he hadn’t known about the remarks. He spoke to GM Peter Chiarelli who seemed to take the team-first position, saying perhaps Ference should have watched the hit on tape before saying anything.

Mark Recchi explained to Shaughnessy he thought there really isn’t any friction “Andrew’s our teammate. They’re great
teammates and they’ve got each other’s back. Andrew was speaking in the
emotion after the game. It’s unfortunate that he’s taking the heat for
this. Andrew’s been a great teammate and great to all of us. He’d have
Danny’s back any day.

“I
don’t think it’s a violation. Obviously it can get touchy and it’s
created a big stir. But we know Andrew is going to be there for us as a
teammate and a friend.’’

It will be interesting to watch the Bruins down the stretch to see if they are still the united team that they’ve been so far this season.


122 Comments

  1. Laramy87 says:

    Hopefully habs can shut it down and get 2 more goals this period force OT. This is an entertaining game tho

  2. KenD29 says:

    Looked more like the two of them should be on Dancing With the Stars !

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  3. RC-51 says:

    Price could/should have clocked Thomas!

  4. Julie H says:

    Look on the bright side: at least we can score power play goals again 😛

    ♪Your cares and troubles are gone. There’ll be no more from now on. From now on happy days are here again, the skies above are so clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer again. Happy times, happy nights, happy days are here again♪

  5. zaq007 says:

    Could not have made a better post myself, ditto lol

  6. zaq007 says:

    Why are Gomez and AK on the same line, just not good and why is Subban falling so often!!

  7. LA Loyalist says:

    This was supposed to be the team with character and intangibles.

    As to Whiz, strep throat is really nasty and he probably isn’t actually better.

  8. Ton says:

    do you on occasion wonder if we could have gotten more for the best goalie in the world (at that time). I think we could have. It was the perfect time to get rid of him with his value being at the highest level ever.

  9. MikeMcLaren says:

    Am I the only one who saw this headline and thought to himself, “Hmph, maybe they should use some lube?”

    Just askin’.

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  10. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    I’m surprised by that comment, I feel that the team has shown an exceptional amount of grit and tenacity, especially considering all the injuries. Some really impressive come from behind victories have especially impressed me. Or do you just mean because they don’t fight much?  Perhaps we just have differing definitions of grit.

  11. The Cat says:

    I agree, Id love to have those 2 guys on the team. Plus no one really wants to fight those guys cause they can look stupid awful fast. Pound for pound, 2 of the toughest IMO

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  12. Danno says:

    Cherry will go nuts – sorry, more nuts.

    Is that even possible?

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  13. Shiloh says:

    Ference is also the player who tracked his own carbon footprint over the course of a year and supports green energy. Now he comes out against head-hunting. Cherry will go nuts – sorry, more nuts.

  14. HabFanSince72 says:

    Two young guys for two past their prime  players with at most a couple of years left in the tank.

    And also,  Chris Neil? Puh-leaze.

     

  15. punkster says:

    Outrageous!

    ***Subbang!!!***

  16. HabFanSince72 says:

    Leaf fans will tell you that Beauchemin was the best defenceman (on a weak defensive team with no goalie).

    They sure ripped off the Ducks (what is it with those Murrays)? Unfortunately they might also end up giving Boston a lottery pick.

     

  17. HabFanSince72 says:

    I used to think that too but that Larry Brooks article suggests the main reason for the mini-suspensions is that the players refused to sign the CBA if there were going to be longer suspensions.

    And the Ferrence thing really brings home the point that the whole culture of hockey is messed up.

     

  18. LA Loyalist says:

    Are goalie fights coming back in style?

    Is Ron Hextall coming out of retirement?

    Do Islanders still have Billy Smith’s rights?

    Man, it’s like bell bottoms.  You wait long enough…

  19. LA Loyalist says:

    As to Eller, why doesn’t PG have the balls to say “He’s in Hamilton learning his trade.” What is wrong with that, rather than humiliating the kid up here?

  20. deuce6 says:

    6 goals against with 4 minutes left in the 2nd..Way to tighten up, guys..

    —————— Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  21. Julie H says:

    Not back in style. Price and Thomas just didn’t wanna be left out of the big bad brawl

     

    ♪Your cares and troubles are gone. There’ll be no more from now on. From now on happy days are here again, the skies above are so clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer again. Happy times, happy nights, happy days are here again♪

  22. LA Loyalist says:

    We have 10,000 posts fighting that fight, my friend. The goalie market was flooded and bad, was the consensus.

    But bad market or no it had to be done then rather than waiting so that Price wouldn’t feel threatened (?!) was the other side of the wishbone.

    And the final argument was that we can’t sign Plex unless we dumped Halak, which I think was bogus, but not  many agreed with me.

    That’s the history of the mystery, amigo-san. Bottom line? Price has been very good, Eller should be in the AHL, and we are a tweaked Price groin away from being in a sh*tstorm of hurt. If Price and Plex have great playoffs and we win a round, then I guess all the heart-ache was worth it… if not, it will be a long summer around here.

     

  23. observer says:

    Gauthier and Martin 2 old guys with the same belief that you can win championships withOUT muscle on your team! Which is why after about 60 years combined in this sport, neither ever led their team to a championship and never will unless this old GM finally admits  in the next few weeks that he has been a 30 year failure in this league.

  24. Ton says:

    who can even start to hate Thomas, great guy even if he’s a bruin.

  25. observer says:

    tyhere is no brightside! they again are being outmuscled like flyers or sabres or penguins do to them. unless that stubborn p-air of old men gauthier and martin bring in some muscle now this season ends in the first round of the playoffs as it usually did for similar reasons.

  26. KenD29 says:

    Someone should clock Gomez, -4 so far after 2 periods!

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  27. observer says:

    hamrlick, spacek and gill are old and slow. and that fool gainey gave them big bucks and several years too much.

  28. KenD29 says:

    Now these guys could show Thomas and Price a thing or two about goalie fights!

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  29. RC-51 says:

    With all due respect #46 is also -4 and I’m sure there are more players.In a game like tonight +/- means NOTHING! What about Price’s save% ? 

  30. MTLForever says:

    he’s good in a lot of situations actually, tonight is a write off for a lot of people


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