No one can accuse of Andrew Ference of failing to throw all of his body parts into the action in pursuit of victory for the Bruins.
It’s just a little unusual that maybe his most famous extremity during the Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup championship was his finger.
Yes, Ference’s famous one-finger flip-off of the fans of Montreal after his goal put Boston ahead, 3-2, in Game 4 of the Bruins’ first-round series against the Canadiens cost him a $2,500 fine. But it also earned him a permanent spot in the hearts of Bruins fans worldwide.
Of course, Ference contributed much more to the Bruins’ cause all season, as he matched his regular-season goal total during the playoff run, was often the first Boston player to come to the defense of a teammate that was questionably hit, and was among the leaders who kept the locker room together during hard times.
Some might’ve had a problem with his classifying of Danie Paille’s hit on Raymond Sawada as the type of hit the league wants to get rid of, but sometimes the truth isn’t pretty. And goal celebrations can be ugly as well. To the Bruins and their fans, though, Ference’s dirty salute was a beautiful thing during a brilliant championship run.
Regular season: 70 GP, 3-12-15, plus-22
Playoffs: 25 GP, 4-6-10, plus-10
Contract status: Signed through 2012-13 at a cap hit of $2.25 million
Best regular-season moment: In early-season sign that if he stayed healthy Ference could do a lot of things to help Boston, Ference blocked a shot to start the play on the Bruins’ tying goal against St. Louis Nov. 6. He didn’t earn an assist and the Bruins lost the game in a shootout, but that play — along with his fight with David Backes in defense of a leveled Mark Recchi — showed there were a lot of ways Ference could contribute to a championship-caliber squad.
Best playoff moment: His goal and salute against the Habs were epic, but his biggest game by far was Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against Vancouver. He was credited with six hits and he added a goal and an assist to boot. He also earned a 10-minute misconduct for scuffling with Daniel Sedin during a physical game that Boston used to show it wouldn’t be ushered out of the Final easily.
Worst moment: One game prior to Ference’s all-around outstanding performance in Game 3, he struggled on the road in Game 2. Two of his giveaways led directly to goals, including the one that Alex Burrows scored to end the game just 11 seconds into overtime.
Regular-season grade: B-plus
Playoff grade: A-minus. He had his share of miscues, but he managed to make up for them (and was often saved by goaltender Tim Thomas). His leadership was difficult to quantify.
Carnac predicts … in what will probably be his last season with the Bruins before the team trades his cap-friendly contract to make room for younger, cheaper blueliners, Ference will continue to be a solid second- or third-pair defenseman and locker room sage.