The Boston Bruins rallied for a 5-4 overtime win in Montreal last night, but there's more to talk about at the water cooler this morning beyond Michael Ryder's OT winner at the Bell Centre.
With the Canadiens leading 3-1 in the second period, Andrew Ference hammered a shot past Habs goaltender Carey Price to close the gap to 3-2 (or 2-3 as NESN play-by-play man Jack Edwards might say).
Ference then skated past the faceoff circle and approached the glass with his stick in his right hand. Then with his left hand, the Bruins defenseman raised his middle finger in the direction of the Canadiens fans sitting in the lower section behind the glass.
Ference said he didn’t intend to flip the bird.
“It looks awful,’’ Ference said. “I just saw it. I can assure you that’s not part of my repertoire. I don’t know if my glove got caught up or what. I can assure you that’s not part of who I am or what I ever have been. It looks awful. I admit it. I completely apologize to how it looks. But I can assure you — you guys have covered me long enough to know that’s not part of my repertoire. I was putting my fist in the air. I’m sorry. It does look awful. I don’t know what else to say.’’
Ference could be disciplined for the one-fingered salute. Earlier this season, Montreal defenseman James Wisniewski, then with the Islanders, was suspended for two games for making a lewd gesture at the Rangers’ Sean Avery.
“All I can do is tell you the truth. And that’s the truth,’’ Ference said of his intentions. “I totally agree that it does look bad. But I can assure you that’s not part of who I am or what I ever will be. I know it looks bad, but I think my glove got caught up there, pumping my fist. I don’t score too many goals. That’s about all I have in my repertoire.’’
Ference had a goal and two hits in 19:56 of ice time. If Ference is suspended, the Bruins would be without a valuable two-way defenseman.
“I didn’t see it, so I can’t comment,’’ coach Claude Julien said. “I’ve heard about it. I didn’t see it at all. I haven’t even had a chance to talk to Andrew. If you ask me, I’m surprised. Because that’s not Andrew at all. I’m shocked. Again, I don’t know whether it happened or what. But I’d be very surprised. That’s not his style at all.’’
What do you think? Did Ference's glove get "caught up there" or was he covering up for raising up his finger to send a message to the Canadiens fans?
Material from Fluto Shinzawa's Bruins notebook was used in this report.