Ference Gets 3 Games for Hit on McDonagh

Ryan McDonagh left Saturday's game after getting boarded by Andrew Ference (Getty Images)

According to NHL.com, the NHL has suspended Andrew Ference for 3 games after he hit Ryan McDonagh from behind midway through the overtime period in yesterday’s 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins.

In Brendan Shanahan‘s explanation video for the suspension, he said Ference made contact with McDonagh’s skate before shoving him from behind into the boards.

“While we would agree with Ference’s assertion that there was no malicious intent,” Shanahan said in the video, “This nevertheless is a reckless shove from behind that causes a dangerous collision with the boards.” He said it was a “textbook” example of the boarding penalty explanation.

Shanahan put the blame on Ference for not making a better decision, and said the Rangers have said there doesn’t appear to be any injury to McDonagh.

McDonagh, who appeared to hit the end boards shoulder-first, but was holding his head after the collision, did fly home with the team from Boston last night. There was no update to his status after the game.

Jeff Woywitka has been cleared to play after being out for a month with a bone bruise in his foot, so expect him to be in Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets, while the Rangers give McDonagh the night off. It will be the last game before the All Star break.

Bad news all around, but I’m trying to stay optimistic because his head did not directly collide with the boards or glass after the hit. Of course that doesn’t mean a concussion cannot happen, but you have to believe it won’t be as severe as others we’ve seen when the head has been directly impacted. The All-Star game should definitely help him out, as the team will have a week off between games, and McDonagh was not selected to play.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia

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