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Andrew Ference on D&C: ‘We needed a little shakeup’

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference [1] joined Dennis & Callahan Friday morning for his weekly appearance. After the Bruins’ dominating 6-2 victory over the Maple Leafs [2] Thursday night, Ference talked about Boston’s line changes and improvement on the power play.

“It’s one of those things, the power play was actually working pretty good, we were getting the puck around, we just weren’t putting it in,” Ference said. “We were working towards larger things on the power play and we felt that it was doing a lot of good things, so it was a matter of time.”

The Bruins scored twice on the power play against Toronto, with Ference assisting on one of those goals. In addition to better play from special teams, the Bruins also benefited from some line changes made by coach Claude Julien [3] in recent days. The top line of Milan Lucic [4], Chris Kelly [5] and Tyler Seguin [6] was particularly effective against the Maple Leafs. Ference said that the line changes helped the Bruins get back to focusing on the simple parts of the game.

“I think it helped, it energized guys I think a bit, just to give them a little kick in the pants,” Ference said. “I think when you change linemates, you get out of your comfort zone a bit. You really just concentrate on doing simple things, like skating hard, getting to the net, throwing pucks at the net.

‘€ª”It was a good move. We needed a little shakeup. Guys were a little bit stale with the old lines and you can always go back to them, but I think just letting guys concentrate on the simple things really helps.”‘€¬

Ference also talked about emotions running high in the Bruins’ loss to the Hurricanes on Tuesday and forward Shawn Thornton [7]‘s value to the team.

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page [8].

On Boston’s penalty-filled loss to the Hurricanes: “I think that game, the emotion was a byproduct of the frustration. When our team’s good, the emotion’s just a part of our game. It’s not forced, it’s just there. I think that I mentioned after the game, the game of hockey within its rules allows us to be very physical, allows us to be emotional without hitting the box all night. When our team’s playing well, sure there are fights here and there, but we’re just a physical team all the time. We’re always hitting, always forechecking, always giving teams no room. … In a game where there’s a bunch of fights and a bunch of penalties and it’s just kind of chaotic with the physical stuff, that’s going to happen once in a while but that stuff’s definitely not something that we define ourselves as.”

On Shaun Thornton, who finally got into a fight against Toronto: “He’s been looking for a dance partner for a few games. That’s not the only part of his game, but that’s a big part of it. He thrives off of it. He loves to energize the crowd, he loves to get the team going and step up and do something like that. Thorny brings so much, he’s got a lot of respect in our room because he’s willing to do stuff like that and he can also play the game. He plays a really good game.”

On the role of NHL [9] enforcers: “The rest of us get in fights once in a while and it usually just kind of happens in the course of the game and you have so much adrenaline going through you, it’s no big deal. … The guys that can’t play, literally all they do is just fight. They have one shift where they just run around with their head chopped off. ‘€¦ The guy that’s intimidating, tough and can contribute to their team, that’s a really important role.”

On what Zdeno Chara [10] could do in a fight: “If Chara’s angry, he could literally end somebody’s career. When he fights, he holds back, he’s a nice guy.”