May 1, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) towers over Toronto Maple Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski (84) during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Update 7:00pm: Ference suspended 1 game.
Update 10:00am: Ference has a hearing scheduled for 2pm today according to John Shannon.
Let me start with the positive feelings I have about this hit because Grabovski really deserves some credit. This season he has only missed one practice to undergo tests for the gastro-intestinal issues that he has played with for two years, but has not missed a game this season at all. He didn’t leave the game after the elbow to the head or after lying on the ice as a result of a hit by Johnny Boychuk. The thing I was impressed with after the Boychuk hit was that Colton Orr immediately went after him to stand up for his teammate which not enough people do anymore. Even if you don’t like what Orr did you have to admit Grabovski is one tough customer, and does not get near enough credit for that.
Ference should be suspended for this, it looks similar to the Dustin Brown hit on Jason Pominville for which Brown was suspended two games. The only difference between the Brown hit and this one is that Brown’s was unintentional. Ference clearly sees Grabovski coming, sticks out his elbow and makes direct contact with his head. Ference isn’t a first offender either, he was suspended for 3 games in January 2012.
This hit once again brings up my views on supplementary discipline because in my opinion the system we have now is not working. The reviews and hearings are not consistent and that causes a problem. For more about my views on supplementary discipline you can look here.