Ference not a Subban fan

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Ference not a Subban fan

Andrew Ference is an honorable player, and he is not happy about P.K. Subbans antics after throwing a dangerous head shot at David Krejci in the third period of last nights 2-1 victory over the Canadiens at TD Garden. Ference emptied both barrels on Subban during his weekly radio appearance on the Dennis and Callahan Show on 850 WEEI Friday morning and didnt leave much to the imagination when it comes to his feelings about Subban.

"I wasn't that surprised. I think it's more embarrassing he was fighting his own teammates in practice the early January tussle betweenSubban and Tomas Plekanec during a Habs practice. I don't know. It was a hit to Krejci's head. I'm the smallest defenseman on our team, so I think he pulled a pretty good card on that one. But I guess he still didn't want to fight.

I wasn't extremely surprised. With most guys, it's a big hit to one of our key players, and obviously a high hit -- Krejci's got the marks on his face to prove it. So, that's usually pretty cut and dry. You don't have to be the toughest team in the league or fight all the time. And they're not; that's not their identity. That's fine. There's nothing wrong with that. But the general code in hockey is on plays like that, you man up. That's whether you're big or small or whatever you are. You just do it. That's where I think it rubs a lot of guys around the league -- and probably on his own team -- raw. I think most guys were raised as kids playing hockey, that's just the way you do it.

Ference pointed to teammates Brad Marchand currently out on a five-game suspension due to a clipping incident with Sami Salo as a guy that will answer for his actions when opponents feel hes crossed the line. Ference has seen Marchand in action.

Marchand is a friend of his, and Subban is clearly no Marchand.

"If you're going to play that way -- and for a direct example on our team, before this season started, I talked with Brad Marchand. I said, 'If you're going to play the way you play, you have to fight. You have to drop the gloves once in a while.' I said, 'You don't have to fight the toughest guy or fight every time somebody asks you, said Ference. But if you're going to play that style of hockey, if want any respect at all around the league, you have to drop the gloves once in a while.' So, that's what it's all about. Not being crazy and not picking up penalty minutes all over the place, but at least showing up once in a while and playing honest."

Subbans cockiness, confidence and outspoken style has certainly rubbed plenty of NHL players the wrong way, and its even spurred Ference to chirp at him on some occasions. Like last season when the Montreal defenseman was beaming after his team had lost a heartbreaking playoff series.

"He was even smiling after they lost in the playoffs last year, and I told him -- I'm not much for chirping guys and trash-talking -- but I said, 'You're team's not exactly doing so hot right now, I don't know if it looks so great when you're smiling around at the rink all game, said Ference. If a guy on my team was smiling like that after you're losing and when you're obviously going through some struggles, I don't know. Well, I guess that's why they're having the kind of practices they're having.

Sounds like theres not a lot of love lost between those two.

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- There were both expected and unexpected absences from Bruins morning skate on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of tonight’s game at TD Garden against the Florida Panthers. Matt Beleskey was the expected absence after getting knocked out of Saturday’s game with a lower body injury caused by a Tyler Fedun check to his right leg, and Torey Krug was also missing from the ice after pulling workhorse duty over the last handful of games in the absence of Zdeno Chara.

Following practice Claude Julien confirmed that Chara was “probable” to return for tonight’s game vs. the Florida Panthers after missing the last six games, and that Krug is expected to play after succumbing to the same illness that felled Patrice Bergeron over the weekend. Beleskey was being checked by doctors on Monday, and it sounds like his absence might be a bit longer term than simply a “day-to-day” lower body injury. 

Noel Acciari took part in practice, and it appears they both could be closing in on a return to the lineup. Frank Vatrano also shot the puck around a bit at the very beginning of Monday’s skate, but came off the ice as the team began their preparations for tonight’s game. 

Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. Florida based on the morning skate with Beleskey and Krug both absent:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Schaller-Krejci-Backes

Spooner-Nash-Czarnik

Blidh-Moore-Hayes/Acciari

Chara-Carlo

Morrow-McQuaid

K. Miller-C. Miller

Rask

Khudobin

Belichick on keeping Brady in: 'Seen those double-digit leads evaporate'

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Belichick on keeping Brady in: 'Seen those double-digit leads evaporate'

With 5:52 remaining in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game between the Patriots and Rams, and with the hosts up 26-3, quarterback Tom Brady was back on the field to lead the Patriots offense. 

It was a decision that had some scratching their heads. Why risk the health of your Hall of Fame quarterback in a game that's essentially been decided? Particularly at this point in the year? Particularly just days after the team lost it's most dynamic offensive weapon to season-ending back surgery?

"Well, after the game turns out, it's easy to go back and make those suggestions," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on a conference call Monday. "I've seen a few games in this league. Seen those double-digit leads evaporate in a minute or two. I know that's not a big concern when it does happen and then when it does happen it's a major crisis and [there's] a lot of second-guessing about what should've been done or what shouldn't have been done. Trying to win the game."

The Patriots held the ball for a little over two minutes before punting it back to the Rams. By the time the Patriots got the ball back for the final time with 1:15 remaining, Brady was on the field to take two kneeldowns and wipe out the clock. 

He told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday morning that he wasn't looking for an early hook. The Rams have been accused of dirty plays in the past, and their coaching staff has a reputation for encouraging a reckless style, but Brady explained why he wanted to remain in the game late.

"All these games are close. I know yesterday, 26-3 at one point, but we’re playing for a lot here," he said. "i don’t think it’s ever right to take your foot off the gas pedal. We could use as many reps as possible, all the guys out there. There are different situations that come up in every game. You only get 16 weeks a year to try them out. You try them in practice, but there’s not the speed. There’s not the urgency. It’s not the decision-making because it’s unscripted.

"In practice you go and talk about these are the plays you’re going to run, these are the defenses you can get. Then you go into the game and they it’s all about decision-making really under pressure with everything on the line, so the more reps you can get with Malcolm [Mitchell] and [Chris] Hogan and Martellus [Bennett], guys that I haven’t played with, the better it gets."

Brady escaped his late-game reps no worse for the wear -- he completed three of four passes for 14 yards on his team's second-to-last drive -- but he did take one shot earlier in the game that had him ticked. Rams safety TJ McDonald got into the Patriots backfield untouched and drove Brady into the ground during a second-quarter drive. Brady got the ball away, but he was walloped, and when he got up he sought out McDonald for a few words.

"I think it was pretty emotional," Brady told Kirk and Callahan. "I didn’t see the replay yet, but he made a good clean hit. They were blitzing us. I knew we didn’t have him picked up and he put a little extra something on.”

Asked if the threat of a play like that late in a lopsided game bothered him, Brady said no.

"I said to my wife as I was driving home, she was like, ‘What was that?’ She wants to know about all these things and I was like, ‘I think it is all fair on the football field.’ You put yourself out there," Brady explained. "You’re up 20, you’re down 20. Everyone is playing hard and whatever happens out there is on the football field. I don’t think it was a dirty play.

"Guys love going in there and hitting the quarterback. They’ve been trained to hit the quarterback their entire careers, especially on defense. They get paid more hitting the quarterback. Their team is 4-8 so they are going to play hard 'til the end no matter what. They haven’t been in a lot of games this year so they are going to play hard to try and set them up for next year. I had no problem with that hit. I thought it was a real clean play. I was pretty pissed off for the most part yesterday because we weren’t executing as well as we could and that probably had something to do with it as well."