Bird's Eye View: The excuse far more offensive than the finger
Published Monday, April 25, 2011 6:59PM EDT
I don't begrudge Boston defenceman Andrew Ference flipping the bird at the Bell Centre last Thursday as much as I'm offended by his claim that it was a wardrobe malfunction.
After scoring the goal that marked a decisive shift in momentum in the series, Ference extended his middle digit in a gesture he later said was "accidental" because his glove was stuck.
A better excuse might have been that Ference was showing the crowd how many goals he'd scored in 36 games prior to last Thursday.
Adding injury to insult, Ference drew an assist on Saturday's overtime winner, giving the Bruins a 3-2 series lead.
My hockey glove isn't nearly as broken in as Ference's, but strangely enough, it doesn't get stuck. In the interests of science, I decided to go through a few other common gestures to show that even a relatively stiff and seldom used gauntlet is easily manipulated.
There's the thumbs up, the A-OK, the rock and roll devil horns (which, by the way, meant something completely different when I was a kid), the peace sign, and the inverted peace sign, or Churchillian V for Victory.
I found even a glove that spends more time collecting dust than sweat doesn't get stuck.
If I thought he was cunning enough, I'd say Ference's obscene gesture was calculated to give the Canadiens and their fans a new public enemy number one and take some of the pressure away from Zdeno Chara, who's been a sleeping giant in the series so far.
The fans might buy into the distraction, but under the circumstances, the Canadiens can't afford to.
Better to keep the heat on Chara and take your chances with Andrew Ference, whose 15 minutes of fame surely must be up.