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.

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation


Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want. 

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

It was the longest run that the P-Bruins have had in a few years and another unmistakable sign that the future is brightening for the Black and Gold, but the Bruins AHL affiliate has ended their playoff push in the Calder Cup semi-finals. 

The Providence Bruins fell by a 3-1 score to the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night to lose to the Crunch in five games when the best-of-seven series was set to return to Providence this coming week. The P-Bruins had vanquished the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears in the first two rounds of the Calder Cup playoffs before finally exiting against Syracuse. 

Though it’s over, it’s clear some of the Bruins prospects made a nice step forward over the second half of the AHL season and then into the Calder Cup playoffs. With the Calder Cup Finals yet to start, B’s forward prospect Danton Heinen stands as the second-leading playoff scorer in the entire AHL with nine goals and 18 points in 17 playoff games after really struggling in the first half of his first pro season while bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the AHL. 

This could bode well for the skilled Heinen and his hopes to make the leap to the NHL in the near future after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Denver. AHL journeymen-types Wayne Simpson and Jordan Szwarz were the next two top scorers for the P-Bruins in the playoff run, but Jake DeBrusk had a strong playoff season as well while popping in six goals in 17 games. DeBrusk led all Providence players with his 54 shots on net in the 17-game playoff run for Providence, and he headlined a group that included B’s prospects Ryan Fitzgerald, Zach Senyshyn, Matt Grzelcyk, Peter Cehlarik (who succumbed to shoulder surgery during the playoffs), Emil Johansson and Robbie O’Gara all getting some vital playoff experience. 

Both Heinen and DeBrusk will be strong candidates for jobs on the wing with the Boston big club when training camp opens in the fall after strong showings in the postseason. 

On the goaltending side, Zane McIntyre was solid for the P-Bruins at times while in 16 of their 17 playoff games with a .906 save percentage. But it was Malcolm Subban that was playing at the very end of the playoff run for Providence and featured a sterling .937 save percentage in the four AHL playoff games that he appeared in this spring after an up-and-down regular season. McIntyre had an .857 save percentage and 4.37 goals against average in the final series against Syracuse, and looked a little spent like many of the other P-Bruins players once they’d unexpectedly made it to the third round of the AHL postseason.  

The only unfortunate part of Providence’s run is that newly signed youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson couldn’t be a part of it after signing and then appearing in NHL games following a cut-off date for AHL playoff rosters. Both missed on an experience that could have been very conducive for their professional development, and uncovered a wrinkle in the NHL/AHL transaction process that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a developmental league.