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Krejci moves on from Subban hit

By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / January 14, 2012
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WILMINGTON - David Krejci called it “a clean hit.’’ Andrew Ference begged to differ. And coach Claude Julien said it could have gone either way.

There was no shortage of opinions yesterday on the nature of P.K. Subban’s hit on Krejci in the Bruins’ 2-1 victory Thursday night over the Canadiens at TD Garden. But Julien seemed to offer the final word on the matter when he indicated the team would not lobby the NHL to review the questionable hit.

Subban was hit with an elbowing minor when he appeared to catch Krejci in the head at 12:17 of the third period.

Ference jumped to his teammate’s defense, but Subban shrunk from the confrontation by “turtling’’ on the ice into his jersey.

Subban wound up getting rag-dolled by Ference in front of the visitors’ bench, which earned Ference a roughing double minor.

“We’ll have to let the league look at it and see how they define it,’’ Julien said of Subban’s hit after yesterday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena, where the Bruins took to the ice to prepare for tonight’s game against the Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C.

“You could look at it either way,’’ Julien said. “Is it that bad of a hit? Was there an elbow involved? I didn’t waste too much time dissecting it, because the league’s going to make a decision whether it’s worthy or not.

“So, as I said before, we don’t lobby. So we’re just going to move on here and let them take care of business.’’

According to a report in the Montreal-based newspaper Le Presse, which cited league sources, Subban’s hit will not be subject to review by league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, who Monday hit Brad Marchand with a five-game suspension for his clipping penalty on Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo.

Krejci, who declined to talk after Thursday’s game, addressed the media after practice.

When asked if he was OK, Krejci replied, “That’s why I didn’t want to talk [Thursday night], because I didn’t want people to ask me if I was OK. I didn’t want to talk about Subban. It was a clean hit and I want to leave it at that, that’s all.’’

Ference, however, did not see it that way.

“I didn’t think it was super clean,’’ Ference said. “It was on [Krejci], one of our top players, and he’s got a marked-up face to prove that it was pretty high. So I thought it was a little high.

“It’s one of those things that’s good about our sport, if you’re going to play a certain style and hit other teams’ top players like [Krejci], you don’t have to fight every time. If you do it enough times . . . I don’t know about turtling, going against the other team’s smallest defenseman.

“[Subban] can play however he wants, it’s none of my business. But I’m just saying that if it were a guy on our team, it would be frowned upon.’’

Krejci was appreciative of Ference’s reaction on his behalf.

“That’s our team,’’ Krejci said. “When one guy’s down, the rest of us comes in and tries to help him out. Andy did that for me and, obviously, I thank him for that. We like each other here. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t do it. We all get along and you can see that on the ice, too.’’

Congrats from the top

President Obama will welcome the Bruins to the White House Jan. 23 to honor the team for its 2011 Stanley Cup triumph. In continuing his tradition of recognizing sports teams for their good works in the community, Obama will highlight the works of the Boston Bruins Foundation, which has raised and donated more than $7 million to charitable organizations in New England.

Schedule, bags packed

The Bruins will begin a four-game, six-day trip with tonight’s game. The team then will head to Florida for back-to-back games against the Panthers Monday and the Lightning Tuesday before wrapping up the sojourn Jan. 19 with a trip to New Jersey, when Marchand will be eligible to return from his suspension. “We haven’t been out on the road as much this year as we have in the past,’’ Julien said. “It’s good for us to get out there. Again, we’ve got some tough teams coming up, tougher schedule, and stuff like that. To me, I’m OK with it. We got spoiled a little bit in the first half and now it’s time to really put us through a good test with lots of road games, travel, and all that stuff in a short period of time. We’ve got to show our endurance here.’’

It left a mark

Defenseman Johnny Boychuk left Ristuccia with a red mark on his right collarbone. It was a souvenir from the block Boychuk tried to make with his stick on Krejci’s windup from the slot during offensive zone drills.

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.

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