Claude Julien Fine With Andrew Ference Taking Extra Penalty in Coming to Teammate’s Defense Against Habs

Claude Julien Fine With Andrew Ference Taking Extra Penalty in Coming to Teammate's Defense Against HabsBOSTON — The Bruins have been victimized by questionable hits too many times in recent years. They are no longer willing to meekly accept any transgressions against them.

That was the message the club gave throughout the fallout from Brad Marchand's controversial low hit on Sami Salo on Saturday that drew a five-game suspension for the Bruins forward despite what the team felt was simply an effort to protect himself from an oncoming hit.

On Thursday, the Bruins proved they aren't going to change their ways, and once again displayed how quickly they will jump in to defend each other.

This time it was Montreal's P.K. Subban delivering the questionable hit, a shot up high on David Krejci in front of the Montreal bench that drew a two-minute minor for elbowing12:17 into the third period. It also drew the immediate wrath of Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, who immediately dropped the gloves and went after Subban.

Subban turtled in the ensuing scrum, a move Ference mocked on his way to the penalty box. He was given a double minor for roughing, putting Montreal on the power play. They converted to cut Boston's lead to one, but the Bruins held on for the 2-1 victory.

Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn't happy about the power-play goal, but had no issue with Ference coming to the defense of a teammate.

"It cost us a goal, and we certainly don't like that part of it," Julien said. "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."

Julien didn't get a good view of Subban's hit, but was confident that Ference would not have jumped in if not warranted.

"I couldn't see [the hit] from where it was on the bench because it happened in front of theirs," Julien said. "It was called elbowing, so I don't know where he elbowed him, but if it was a dangerous elbow, then you'd hope, again, that — 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."

As for Ference, he did not speak to the media after the game, but did pass on a message through the team's media relations staff.

"He said that rather than say he was unavailable for comment," Bruins assistant director of media relations Eric Tosi said, "he asked that you say that his mother always said that if you have nothing good to say, it's best not to say anything at all."

Have a question for Douglas Flynn? Send it to him via Twitter at @douglasflynn or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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