Ference comes clean about 'unintentional bird'


Ference comes clean about 'unintentional bird'

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.

McQuaid cleared to play, nearing return to Bruins lineup


McQuaid cleared to play, nearing return to Bruins lineup

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It was a bitter pill for Adam McQuaid to sit out the first five games of this season, but it looks like the veteran Bruins stay-at-home defenseman is nearing a return to the lineup. McQuaid was cleared to potentially play in Saturday’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens after an upper body injury kept him shelved for the team’s first four games, and could be approaching a return in the next few days as Claude Julien mulls a number of possible lineup changes.

“It was obviously frustrating, but I’m where I’m at now and trying to move on from it. Looking forward to getting back into the lineup hopefully as soon as possible here,” said the 30-year-old McQuaid, who had a goal and nine points in 64 games for the Black and Gold last season. “The excitement level is high for me, and it is for everybody after a loss when you’re looking forward to getting back out there.

“It would have been nice to have started the season with the guys, but you can’t change that now. I’ve had some good practices, and I’m just trying to my game as simple as possible, and take it as it comes. Obviously guys have played some games and it’s been a couple of weeks for me, so I’ll just have to keep my game simple.”

The B’s bench boss indicated it was only a matter of time before McQuaid makes his 2016-17 regular season debut, but that he’s got plenty of things to decide prior to dropping the puck against the Wild.

“[McQuaid] was cleared last game. I haven’t made any decisions based for [Tuesday night vs. Minnesota]. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air, and I’ve just go to juggle those things,” said Julien. “Who knows? Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ve got a better picture [of injury situation], and if not then it will be game-time decisions. I wish I could have a better answer [on if McQuaid will play], but I’ve got no answers right now.”

With Colin Miller (minus-4), Joe Morrow, Torey Krug (a rough minus-3 against Montreal) and John-Michael Liles all minus players after the first five games of the season, there are ample options for Julien on which potential blueliner to bump up to the press box. McQuaid is just happy he’s getting closer to a return while skating with 23-year-old Rob O’Gara at practice, and he can get back to helping a B’s team that’s smack dab in the middle (ranked 15th allowing 3.0 goals per game) of the NHL for team defense this season. 

Monday, Oct. 24: Bergeron the best defensive forward ever?


Monday, Oct. 24: Bergeron the best defensive forward ever?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving The Walking Dead credit for delivering a pile driver to me as a TV viewer last night. I did not see all of that coming.

*Plenty of questions and answers about the Calgary Flames as they’ve looked a little shaky in the early going this season.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has the Edmonton Oilers straightening things out after the brutal loss to Buffalo.

*NHL captains like Steve Stamkos carry the heavy weight of tradition on their shoulders as they go about their business.

*The Hockey News wonders if Patrice Bergeron is the best defensive forward to ever play in the NHL. I’m certain he’s in the conversation, but that’s a big, bold statement that deserves some heavy consideration. After all, he never had to defend Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Mike Bossy, Gordie Howe or any other number of offensive stars. I certainly think he should be in the select club he would join if/when he wins his fourth Selke Trophy.

*Minnesota D-man Matt Dumba was nearly scratched by the Minnesota Wild, and he says that he’s never going to let that happen again.

*The Anaheim Ducks placed Simon Despres on long term injured reserve as they try to stay afloat salary cap-wise, and avoid dealing off a player in-season.

*For something completely different: The Boston Celtics break ground on a new practice facility adjacent to the new Bruins place.