At long last it appears that Andrew Ference is debunking the whole glove malfunction explanation for flipping the bird at the rabid Montreal fans in the Bell Centre.
The Bruins defenseman potted a tying goal in Game 4 of the first round against the Montreal Canadiens during a heated playoff series en route to their Stanley Cup in 2011. Ference punctuated the timely, important playoff score by then tossing a middle finger toward the booing crowd during a contentious series punctuated by the Zdeno CharaMax Pacioretty incident at the end of the season.
The Ference middle finger was caught by TV cameras in both Canada and the US, and it was awfully hard to miss.
Many Bruins players most notably Milan Lucic pointed to that goal and Ferences defiant attitude as one of the early turning points during Bostons run to the Cup, and rightfully so given the turbulent emotions behind it as the Bruins climbed back from an 0-2 deficit.
But Ference immediately distanced himself from the incident by calling it an equipment malfunction and an unintentional bird prior to Game 5, and avoided any suspension partially by playing down the incident. The Bs defenseman is one of the most honest players youll come across, but he clearly looked like he was fibbing when the MontrealBoston crap was hitting the fan.
Fast-forward to this summer, and Ference has recently picked up his blogging pace and opened up a twitter account (@ferknuckle) this summer. His first blog entry for the Good Men Project is all about accountability and personal responsibility, and that brought Ference back to his heated Habs moment.
Within that blog post Ference admits for the first time that he did in fact flip the middle finger towards Habs fans in an obscene fit of pique. Its something everybody long assumed, but the Bs defenseman finally came clean while going over some of the lessons of responsibility and personal accountability he has learned over a 12-year NHL career.
Here is the excerpt about the unintentional bird flipped in Montreal written by Ference:
Accountability is lacking in our world. Just look at nuisance lawsuits, or the finger-pointing of politicians around the globe. I am guilty myself of trying to blame a middle-fingered celebration after a goal in Montreal on a glove malfunction. In round one of the playoffs between two of the fiercest rivals in our sport, I scored a tying goal in the enemys building, only to have my fist pump turn into a sign language that crosses all borders. Facing the media and a possible suspension after the fact proved to be too much for my self-accountability. Self-preservation is a powerful thing it is easier to place blame elsewhere and overlook your own responsibilities.
Ferences everyday attitude is certainly commendable, and his accountability led the Bs defenseman to decry a hit authored by Daniel Paille two years ago that earned the Bs fourth liner a suspension a rarity where a teammate called out a bad hit authored by somebody wearing the same Black and Gold jersey.
That led to a little bit of tension between Ference and Paille initially, but it also proved once and for all that Ference is far from hypocritical when it comes to showing respect for the safety of fellow players.
Now Ference is showing those same qualities about something that clearly always gnawed at him in the back of his mind.
It was in the better late than never category, but the Bruins assistant captain is once again attempting to lead the way when it comes to personal accountability.