MONTREAL - The digitally-enhanced evidence on television tells one story.
Boston Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference tells another.
Ference was caught extending his middle finger to the Bell Centre crowd after scoring the Bruins’ second goal in what turned out to be a 5-4 Boston win in overtime to tie their series with the Montreal Canadiens 2-2, but insisted after the game he did not flip the crowd the bird.
“The coach just showed it to me and it looks awful. I can assure you that is not part of repertoire,” said Ference. “I don’t know if my glove got caught...I’m sorry. It does look awful, but it’s not who I am or who I will be. I was just pumping my fist.
“It was not my intention to insult this building or this league like that.”
That all said, you can bet Ference will have tell his side of the story to the NHL, likely to vice-president of hockey operations Mike Murphy since league disciplinarian Colin Campbell cannot be involved in cases involving the Bruins since his son, Gregory, plays for the team.
Teammate Shawn Thornton, as you might expect, said he was willing to give Ference the benefit of the doubt.
“I doubt it was on purpose. He’s not that type of guy,” said Thornton.
Bruins coach Claude Julien said he did not see the play and could not comment.