In case you ever wondered about the amount of bad blood between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens in their Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series, defenseman Andrew Ference(notes) provided the photographic evidence in Game 4 on Thursday night.
Ference cut the Montreal lead to 3-2 at 9:59 of the second period, skated near the glass and gave this obscene gesture to the Montreal fans. The video:
Rule 75.5 of the NHL rulebook indicates this was grounds for a Game Misconduct Penalty:
Any player who uses obscene gestures on the ice or anywhere in the rink before, during or after the game. The Referee shall report the circumstances to the Commissioner of the League for further disciplinary action.
Should it choose to, the most the NHL could fine Ference is $2,500. Please recall the suspension of James Wisniewski(notes), then of the New York Islanders, for two games in order to hit him with $79,268 in lost salary for his lewd gesture to Sean Avery earlier this season.
Who knows if the League will come down on Ference for this. On the one hand, it's a bawdy gesture at the fans in a visiting arena; on the other, it's hard to stomach the NHL playing Morality Police after it allowed Bruce Boudreau to drop more F-bombs than a season of Def Comedy Jam on "HBO 24/7".
During the "Road To The Winter Classic" on HBO, we were told, "Hey, that's what hockey sounds like"; well, this is what it looks like.
Photo via Sarah Connors and video by Felix L.
UPDATE: Andrew Ference claims this was a fist-pump malfunction. Or something like that.