Ference turning heads

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:37 PM ET


 Springtime in Canada means playoffs.

 And, for the players who partake, playoff hockey means shiners, stitches and welts.

 Professional hockey players are pretty easy to spot this time of the year.

 Just ask Andrew Ference.

 "It's tough to hide," said the Flames defenceman, whose face is marked with welts and stitches.

 "I had to go out to Wal-Mart yesterday to get a few things for the house.

 "People are looking at me and saying, 'Are you some kind of thug?' or they'll say, 'Good game last night.' I usually fly under the radar around Calgary but now it's kind of tough."

 And why is he a target?

 "I'm at the perfect height for guys' elbows and sticks coming up," he said.

 "I'm at the perfect elevation so I tend to get a few more than most guys."

 Still, things could be worse.

 At least he can eat dinner without running it through a blender. For teammate Craig Conroy, who took a Johan Hedberg stick in the chops in Game 4, meals are a challenge.

 "The worst ones are on the mouth," Ference said.


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