BOSTON -- Finding himself $2,500 lighter in the wallet today after giving the middle finger to the Montreal crowd following his goal in last night’s game 4 overtime win over the Canadiens, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference reiterated again to the media Friday afternoon that the gesture was unintentional.
He also accepted responsibility for his actions, and agreed with the fine handed down after speaking with NHL vice president of hockey operations Mike Murphy.
“I talked to Mike Murphy this morning, and I explained the same thing I told you guys last night,” Ference said this afternoon in the Bruins’ locker room at TD Garden. “He said the same thing, ‘It looks awful’. And obviously with the series, and the whole year, you know how it is between the Habs and the Bruins. A fine is acceptable in their book. I had a good talk with him this morning.
“I was pumping my fist. I wasn’t giving anybody the bird or anything like that. It’s like I told him [Murphy], it was an unintentional bird that I obviously apologize for. It wasn’t meant to insult anybody, especially the whole row of cameras and fans in the Bell Centre sitting there. That’s definitely not my intentions.”
Ference appeared to give the Bell Centre crowd the middle finger following his goal at 9:59 of the second period that cut the Canadiens’ lead to 3-2. The Bruins eventually won in overtime, 5-4, to tied this best-of-seven first round series at 2-2.
Following the game, Ference told reporters, "It looks awful; I just saw it [the replay]. 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."
Bruins head coach Claude Julien supported the assertion with which Ference accepted responsibility today.
“I think he’s been pretty open with what he thinks of the situation,” Julien said. “His comments were pretty clear, and I’m going to support my player. That’s what my job is, to support and believe your player, and that’s what I’m going to do. I think he’s a big boy, he’s capable of handling himself, and he’s giving money to charity.”