Ference: Didn't mean to make obscene sign

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Ference: Didn't mean to make obscene sign

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

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.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bean: The (incorrect) case for the Bruins signing Kevin Shattenkirk

Bean: The (incorrect) case for the Bruins signing Kevin Shattenkirk

The Bruins should not sign Kevin Shattenkirk. They really shouldn’t. 

Yet they might. Pierre McGuire said on TSN Radio Tuesday that his guess is that Shattenkirk, arguably the best free agent defenseman on the market, will end up in Boston.

It is remarkable how universally against a Shattenkirk megadeal B’s fans have seemingly been. A Twitter poll with over 3,600 votes this month had Bruins fans preferring Boston sign 40-year-old Zdeno Chara to a two-year, $8 million extension than the 28-year-old  Shattenkirk to a seven-year, $45.5 million deal. 

That is obviously the correct conclusion, but considering how hard the false “Chara is old and bad” garbage is pushed in this town, it’s telling that 64 percent would rather he stick around than the team build the defense around Shattenkirk. 

Of course, Shattenkirk is not a bad player just because he’s been overrated in recent seasons. He’s a decent second-pairing defender and strong power play asset who can be penciled in for 40 points a year. The Bruins already have that in Torey Krug, and he makes less than Shattenkirk figures to command. Shattenkirk is also a righty who plays on the right, which is not a need for the Bruins, whereas Krug is a left shot who plays both sides. 

Add in the Bruins’ cap situation due to some bad contracts and they why of Shattenkirk would be a bad signing doesn’t need to be re-hashed. By this point, the explanation’s been given a few times in a few different places. 

So what would the Bruins’ actual case for signing Shattenkirk be? 

TO KEEP IT MOVING 

Last season was encouraging for Bruins fans because it saw them reach the playoffs for the first time in three years while also seeing young talent emerge. Yet they still only made the playoffs by two points, something of which Don Sweeney and Cam Neely are undoubtedly aware. 

So for all the good signs, this could be a fringe playoff team again if more improvements aren’t made, and missing the playoffs for the second time in three years would mark a step back in the eyes of ownership, perhaps putting jobs in danger. It would be a shame if money were spent irresponsibly for the sake of saving jobs, but Shattenkirk would definitely make the Bruins better next season, even if it crippled them financially down the road. 

TO PULL A CHIARELLIAN FREE AGENT SWITCHEROO

With McAvoy set to be a top-pairing player and Brandon Carlo a good second-pairing option, the Bruins do not have a need for a highly paid right-shot defender. That doesn’t mean they don’t have needs elsewhere. 

Last offseason, Peter Chiarelli made the controversial move of trading Taylor Hall, one of the best left wings on the planet. He did it to get Adam Larsson to help build Edmonton’s blue line up, then he went out and signed Milan Lucic in free agency to replace Hall. 

If the Bruins truly have designs on adding Shattenkirk, perhaps they could have something similar in mind: Trade someone like Carlo for either a left-shot defenseman or a left wing, then replace Carlo with Shattenkirk. 

This would still not be financially palatable, however. When the Oilers traded Hall for Larsson, they swapped a player with a $6 million cap hit for a player with a $4.16 million cap hit and replaced the original player (Hall) with a player in Lucic who carried a $6 million cap hit. So essentially they netted one player for an additional $4.16 million. 

Carlo is on his entry level contract, so unless the Bruins traded him for a player on an entry-level deal, they’d be spending a lot of money in any maneuver that involved replacing him with Shattenkirk. 

TO GO ALL-IN ON POST-CLAUDE LIFE

Claude Julien’s detractors lamented his affinity for responsibility. They loved it when Bruce Cassidy was more open to trading chances. 

Well, you like trading chances? Shattenkirk’s your guy. He’s a good skater, a good offensive player and a sub-par defender. You put Krug, Shattenkirk and McAvoy as three of your four top-four defenseman and you’ll be a long way from the days of Chara, Seidenberg and Boychuk, for better or worse. 

BUT, KEEP IN MIND . . . 

They for sure should not sign Kevin Shattenkirk. 

Morning Skate: What does trading a first-rounder get you now?

Morning Skate: What does trading a first-rounder get you now?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while wishing that Gordon Hayward and Paul George were already in Boston, like, yesterday.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Freidman gives his 30 thoughts for the week, including the trade value of a first-round pick right now.

*It could that non-unrestricted free agents steal all of the thunder on July 1 with massive contract extensions a la Connor McDavid.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Detroit Red Wings taking potential fliers on a number of veteran D-men that are out on the free market.

*With free agency right around the corner, the legendary Stan Fischler details the sad end to Bobby Orr’s career in Boston, where he was lied to about the offer extended to him and ended up playing things out with the Chicago Blackhawks in a way that it shouldn’t have gone. The sight of Orr in a Blackhawks sweater is one of the real all-time NHL oddities out there.

*The NCAA is eying college hockey expansion in NHL markets, including the University of Illinois and Pitt, and, from what I’ve been told, perhaps UNLV and maybe even Vanderbilt. This is a great thing for amateur hockey players and anybody that can’t get enough of the game.  

*Ex-Senators defenseman Marc Methot holds no ill will toward the Sens after being dealt from Vegas to the Dallas Stars following his selection in the expansion draft.

*Josh Ho-Sang shares his wisdom to Islanders prospects as a 21-year-old somebody that’s gone through the ups and downs of being in their shoes.

*As we referenced above, Connor McDavid is closing in on a massive contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers that will probably make him the highest paid player in the NHL.

*For something completely different: My heart goes out to this Roslindale family fighting through a situation with a child who has a life-threatening disorder. They have a Go-Fund-Me page, so please give if you can.