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Watch Ference take down larger Neal

Apr 4, 2012, 9:30 AM EDT

Late in the second period, with the Penguins up 3-2, Pittsburgh’s James Neal and Boston’s Andrew Ference dropped the gloves behind the Bruins’ net. Neal had a significant height and weight advantage and got in a few good punches. However, it was Ference that ended up taking down Neal. You can watch the fight below.

It’s worth noting that this fight occurred shortly after Neal scored his 40th goal of the season. He’s just the fourth player to reach that milestone this season.

Pittsburgh went onto win the game 5-3. Combined with the Philadelphia Flyers loss, Pittsburgh now has a three-point lead in the battle for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with just two games remaining.

  1. odj810 - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    I love ference and pound for pound he’s a really good fighter. But at best this was a hard fought draw.

    • crosberries - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      Yeah pound for pound a great fight with losses to Crosby and neal hahahaha

      • drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:36 AM

        Yeah too bad Ference is the Bruins’ sixth-best fighter.

  2. atb4 - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    This was an odd sequence. I don’t know if Ference thought Neal boarded Boychuk there or something, but he basically just attacked Neal there who didn’t seem to want to fight. Good to see him stand up for himself and hold his own though.

    • madtolive5 - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      Did you see Neal extend his leg and run into into Boychuk right before?

      Its on the NBC video not NESN.

    • ragingyinzer - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      Ference should have gotten 2 for instigating. He clearly dropped the gloves first and even threw a punch before Neal dropped his. As for “taking Neal down”, it looked instead like Ference twisted Neal to the ice after getting the worst in the fight that he started.

  3. nhbsfan - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Earlier in the game Neal had refused to go with Lucic and Chara…I think he figured Ference would be easy pickings but Andy had some rage flowing…

    I agree though…pretty much a draw as a fight goes…

    • letangusespertplus - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      Same way Lucic wouldn’t fight Engls or Asham. Neal won this fight easily btw. Stop listening to jack Edwards. Takedowns in hockey fights count for winning fights now. Guess Sean Avery is the best fighter of all time.

      • madtolive5 - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        Go through Lucic’s fight history….

      • crashtheboards55 - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        yeah Lucic and Chara wanted no parts of Engelland or Asham. probably didn’t wanted to get Beagled.

      • dropthepuckeh - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:13 AM

        Neal had a run in with Lucic earlier in the game, slashing him by the bench. Like Crosby he expects he is allowed to do this without any repercussions. When called on it he wouldn’t drop the gloves. Ference finally said enough is enough and took him on exposing the coward that he is. Letang jus played Vancouver/ Montreal hockey and tricked the ref into a penalty. Good on him, stay classy you loser. I’m sure he will be traded or signed by one of those franchises in the near future.

        BTW – I’m pretty sure Lucic and Chara are also “star players” for the Bruins also. Chara logs far more minutes and is way more valuable to his team. The difference is they stand up for themselves and their teammates. Penguins have been exposed – first round exit courtesy of Philly, I cannot wait.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:20 AM

        It’s got nothing to do with Jack Edwards, it has to do with understanding hockey. No- not the same way at all. that would be like Malkin not fighting Thornton or Campbell. Asham and England are your 19th and 20th guys. Lucic is a 1st line winger who is the same size as Neal. A player that more than likely will not have no bearing (“Engls or Asham”) should not trade 5 minutes with an 1st liner. It’s like when people make the Chara won’t fight John scott or lucic wouldn’t fight Laraque. Why would they? A good way to view the fairness of a fight based on pure value to a team should be- would you trade one guy for another, cause that’s what you are doing… Neal vs. Chara or Lucic; fair. Lucic or Chara vs Asham or Engels- not so much. Lucic has a temper and guys try to bait him, he has got far better at keeping his composure. He’s 23 and is a 25-30 goal scorer (in a VERY defensive system) why would he fight either of those guys. To put it into perspective if you take all the goals Engellend and Asham have scored over the last 3 years combined. they have 27. lucic has 25 this year. Neal was also running around trying to start stuff all game.

      • letangusespertplus - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:39 AM

        @pepper. Really? You’re going back 3 years and adding up goals for a 5 minute penalty justification? Fact is Lucic woulda banged if he thought he could take Asham or Engls. It woulda changed the tone. Goals in that game. Lucic – 1. Asham – 1. Maybe he shoulda fought him instead of trying taking that minor that Crosby scored on.

        @dropthepuck. Shut up. Pens star players are 40-50 goal scorers. You know, all stars. 25 is a star player in Boston I guess. If you wanna be a fighter you have to fight the other teams goons which Lucic rarely does.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:51 AM

        letang, you’re not exactly covering yourself in glory here. The reason “25” goals is a “star player” in Boston is because the ice time is shared and every line scores. The Bruins have six 20-goal scorers–more than any other team. And your contention that Lucic couldn’t handle certain goons–he’s taken on some of the biggest goons in the league, and beaten them. But he’s gotten so good that it makes no sense whatsoever to fight a talentless player, unless a message really needs to be sent, or the game is out of hand in either direction.

        And there’s a slight, slight difference in usefulness between Lucic/Chara and Engelland/Asham.

      • dropthepuckeh - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        @Letang: Who said Lucic wants to be a fighter? He is far from a goon but if you look at his fight history has done very well against the other team’s goon. He has been on the first line all year. As for 40-50 goals, congrats, I’d rather have ten guys at 20 goals than rely on one or two “all stars” who are one hit away from the quiet room. Spreading out the goals won the Bruins the Cup – rolling four lines. So @letang, you shut up and nice dive by your namesake last night loser.

      • letangusespertplus - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:07 AM

        Ok Boston mo’s

        @drew penguins have 5 20 goal scorers and are the top scoring team in the league because of their high goal scorers. If Lucic has fought goons before. Do it again. Neal isn’t a fighter and he didn’t wanna fight. Ference attacked him so he did what he had to do.

        @dropthepuck 5 20 goal scoters in Pitt. Cooke with 19. Bruins have 6. Those 6 have 147. Top 6 on the pens have 180. Big difference.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:31 AM

        Yeah – no doubt PITT can score, but you are still 30 goals behind the B’s in goal differential – and your goalie is pretty damn good. You only have 11 more goals than the B’s this year. so yeah – I am glad you have stars… for all those stars and goals you still have to play philly in the first round and they own you. you do realize the B’s are third in goals scored right? they are 6th in goals allowed. Pitt is 1st and 17th. when your giving up that many, you gotta score that many, but my question is which do you think translates better to the playoffs? 6-5 or 2-1? cause what you really need is your D to be able to stop teams from scoring…

      • drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:39 AM


        Uh, if you paid attention to the rest of my comment, I wrote that Lucic doesn’t fight goons because it makes no sense for him to fight goons, as he’s far better than any goon.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:39 AM

        @ letang- should sid fight anytime someone challenges him? he has fought.. how about letang? Malkin? Neal has also fought Peckham and Greene – both can handle themselves quite well so I think your logic is flawed. When it’s all said and done there will be 12 teams out of 16 that have given up less goals going into the playoffs…

      • letangusespertplus - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        @pepper considering the pens beat the bruins the last two times they played those statistics really helped your squad right? Are you talking about phillys goal diff? Pens are a +56. Bruins are +64. Not quite 30. D has been more than shaky lately I’ll concede to that point but they have been getting up for big games sans the Philly one last weekend. Considering the pens just got their best player back recently that might help a tad. There might be teams that have given up less goals but the pens find ways to win more games than all but two of those. Guess wins don’t count for anything to you.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      Definitely a draw in this fight – as for facing Chara… yeah I wouldn’t want to fight him if he was blindfolded and I had a bat.

    • ragingyinzer - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      So you’re saying Neal started the fight? I think you need to watch that video again.

      Ference should have gotten an extra 2.

  4. hairpie - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Just like that coward Boyle on the Rangers. He didnt want to go with Lucic, Chara or Thornton. Who was he ready to drop the gloves with after? Paille? LOL.

  5. steelhammer92 - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    LOL.. Watch the fight on the NBC Broadcast rather than NESN. The fight was pretty even, but I thought Neal landed the better shots. Neal obviously had the size advantage, but Ference forced him to fight. It’s not like Neal picked the fight.

    nhbsfan, why the hell would the Pens 40 goal scorer fight Lucic or Chara? Having one of your star players, who never fights to begin with, fight two of the toughest fighters in the league is beyond ridiculous. If Lucic or Chara would have jumped Neal like Ference did, there would have been at least two Penguins jumping in to stop it as soon as the gloves were dropped.

    • nhbsfan - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:58 AM

      I was just pointing out why I think Ference went at him like that. I didn’t say he should have gone with them, I just think it’s why Ference went at him like he did…sort of gave him no choice.

      It seemed like he did something earlier in the game but I think I missed it because they seemed to be chirping at him from halfway through the first period and on. I think that combined with the Letang fake decapitation giving the Pens a 5 on 3 that they just scored on led to the fight…

      • napoleonblownapart6887 - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:29 AM

        If memory serves, I think Neal has been getting a lot of action from the Bruins the last couple of games. Was there a run-in during the previous games maybe?

        My guess is that Ferrence saw Boychuck on the ground near the boards and figured Neal boarded him (which it looks much more like they got their legs tangled up) and that coupled with frustration set them off.

  6. tomahawk12 - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    I’d rather get the most good punches in and be taken down, rather than be the bag and take the other guy down. It was a good fight.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:53 AM

      Yeah, I’ve never understood “scoring the takedown”. Taking someone down is the wussy way out.

      • bergeronforselke - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        But it does look better than the “P.K.” (falling to the ice, covering and waiting for the refs)

      • drewzducks - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        I thought Lepoontang did a great PK/Ribeiro impersonation last night. Jack is usually over the top but calling him unmanly was spot on.

  7. drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    It’s really too bad that we can’t come up with a good definition for “P.K”–it’s dying for an insulting one.

  8. hockinj25 - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    I guess you could call it a draw but I’ll give Neal the decision because he didn’t even want to go and got forced into it.

  9. habsman - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Bruin fans always have the Habs on their minds. Almost every Bruin post has a Canadien refference by one of their fans. Comical.

    BTW, whats up with all the cheering when Vitale got hit in the face with the puck last night? I thought you guys didn’t do that sort of thing.

    • odj810 - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      I actually strongly disagree. I don’t even think about the canadians and i don’t even hate them. There not good enough to dislike, you just kind of pitty them at this point. I hope your team gets better because I can’t even get excited anymore. I rarely see anyone talking about the canadians anymore. There the knew toronto.

      • habsman - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        Folks, I give you odj810.

        Another shining example of the American education system.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      Ah habsman…doing his usual “resort to trolling because my team is in last place” routine.

    • hairpie - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      No one cares about the Canadiens. Thats really not a joke. No one. As far as the Vitale situation, i was there and it was dead quiet when he got hurt. Did you travel down from Mtl or do you have a dish so you can watch Bruins games?

      • habsman - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:36 PM

        Why lie about it hairpie?

        The cheering was clear as a bell during the broadcast. Or was the noise piped in over the airwaves? And its not the first time that classless fan base has cheered injuries. But nice try at “spinning” tho.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:41 PM

        You’re delusional about most other things, habsman, why should anyone listen to you on this?

  10. hairpie - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Exactly… why lie? I was there, you apparently have a dish so you can watch Bruins games.

  11. bergeronforselke - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    No habsman is right. Anytime diving or turtling come up on these boards, my first thought is of a Montreal Canadien. Kudos to you habsman for noticing.

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