By Joe Haggerty
MONTREAL Andrew Ference's obscene gesture to the Bell Centre crowd after his second-period goal -- caught by the CBCcameras and making him subject to potential discipline by the National Hockey League -- was, he says, a pureaccident of the highest order.
Ference said his finger got stuck in his hockeyglove, and that he didnt intentionally start waggling his middle finger to the fans. Call it a wardrobe malfunction if you will.
"It looks awful; I just saw it, said Ference follwing the game. "I can assure you that's not part of my repertoire. I think my glove got caught up. I can assure you that's not part of who I am or what I ever have been. It looks awful. I admit it and I completely apologize to how it looks. I was putting my fist in the air. I'm sorry. It does look awful. I don't know what else to say.
Ference was pressed several times about the middle-finger gesture, but never wavered from the main story he's telling the commissioner's office.
"Honestly, I have no idea how it happened," he said. "It looks really bad. All I can do is tell you the truth, and my finger getting stuck in my glove is the truth.
"I totally agree it looks bad. I can assure you that's not who I am or ever will be. I was pumping my fist in the air. I don't score too many goals and that's about all I have in my celebration repertoire."
The key point in the game was clearly Bostons penalty kill with 2:19 to go in the third period with the score tied 4-4. With Dennis Seidenberg in the box for interference to Tomas Plekanec, the Bruins covered every spot on the ice during their penalty kill formation, and showed the kind of "ice bag desire" necessary to win hockey games while killing 13 out of 14 Montreal power plays during the postseason.Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell dove to block shots and kept the puck out of their own zone, and deserved the lion's share of the PK credit..
Im very happy and very proud of the guys, said Kelly. We did a good job of keeping pucks away from goaltender Tim Thomas and he made some big saves down the stretch to keep the score tied.
When youre killing one late in the game, you get that little extra push."Bruins third line center Chris Kelly was back at the Bell Centre in time for Thursdays morning skate, and playedin Game Four against the Canadiens despite a multi-colored bruise around his right eye. Tyler Seguin once again sat and the Bruins understandably stood pat after pulling out a win in Game 3.Kelly was sporting a full face cage during practice and a colorful bruise all around his right eye, but said he was fine to go in a Stanley Cup playoff situation. All tests in Boston went well, and Kelly managed a three-point night in further proof that the hockey gods smile widelyon those playing through pain and suffering.It didn't appear there were any fractures, but Kelly wasn't dealing in specifics with an injury during the postseason.Ive been given the green light and the doctors said everything is great, Kelly said. So Im going to go out and have fun. It was fine. It wasnt bad at all. It was a hockey play and part of the game. Scott GomezIve played against him for a lot of years. I think hes an honest player that works very hard.Claude Julien was having some fun with reporters asking him to comment on the Lake Placid retreat over the last couple of days leading up to Game 4, and the field day that some media were having with the whole Miracle 1980 US HockeyTeamtheme.Looks like there wont be any pep talks from Jim Craig or Mike Eruzione in the near future for the Black and Gold. Julien was asked if he saw any differences in his team while going through Thursdays morning skate: Yeah, I saw a Miracle in case you were looking for that word. No, I think we just went there to go and relax and have some quality practices. We werent looking for any miracles. It was a good place for our team to be, and we went out and skated today like we did the last time we were here.
Canadiens legend Henri Richard brought out the Canadiens' torch to begin the pregame presentation. Richard won a record 11 Stanley Cups with Montreal between 1956 and 1973.
Michael Ryder has now scored 11 goals in 28 playoff games for the Bruins.