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Andrew Ference on D&C: ‘I totally understand’ Habs fans’ cheering of Zdeno Chara’s injury

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference [1] checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning and touched on the behavior of Canadiens fans [2] after Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara [3] was hit in the face Wednesday night by a clearing attempt by Tomas Plekanec. Habs fans cheered while Chara was down on the ice and bleeding.

The social media world soon blew up with tweets lecturing Montreal about showing class as a fan base, but Ference appeared less concerned.

“I wouldn’€™t say I was offended,” Ference said. “You don’€™t like it, but I know where they’re coming from. I don’t know if it’d be a very different story in a lot of arenas for whatever big rivalries happen no matter what sport it is. … It’s just the way it is. It’s not something you really like but, like I said, I totally understand it.”

Added Ference: “When people talk about it being it being a heated rivalry and people caring a lot about it, it’s true, it’s not just kind of empty words. They do care a lot about it. They’re passionate about hockey and so when one of your most hated rivals and the biggest guy on the team goes down like that, like I said, it’s not that surprising.”

Ference also discussed the domino effect of losing key players on the team and what kind of impact it’s had on other players and the way the Bruins have played night in and night out.

“It’s not easy, especially if you’ve been playing with a certain guy for a long time, it makes it more difficult. But that just comes down to something that if GMs are looking at players, they wonder how adaptable they are and how quickly they can either change their style of game or change the way they play with certain players, and that’s obviously a plus,” Ference said. “The more people you can have that can do that the better, and obviously some people are better at doing it than others. I think that over the past few years we’ve had pretty good success with injuries and dealing with them, and some pretty big guys. I think you just kind of cross your fingers and hope that guys will keep their game at a high level despite their linemates being out.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. [4]

On the possibility of Rick Nash [5] joining the Bruins: “You’d welcome him, he’s a great player, but I think moving a great player like that is a lot easier said than done, with the salary cap world and all that goes with that. I don’t think anybody in the locker room gets too excited when they hear about rumors or stuff like that just because it’s pretty difficult to pull the trigger on certain deals like that.

“What I do like is hearing players now, compared to a few years ago, picking Boston as one of their teams. People want to come to Boston now. We’ve changed the culture, where before I think free agents, guys in those kinds of situations, might have hesitated before coming and now it’s a place where — we see it in the summertime when we talk to guys, too, that we’re a very attractive destination.”

On the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers:They’re playing great hockey. I think that they’re a very disciplined team. But I think that when you get into the playoffs you just believe in what you do as a system and hope that it beats what they’re doing. It would be a good series, them against us. … They played very disciplined and obviously they shut us out. They have a great goaltender which is something that we know a lot about, you know, frustrating teams with the goaltending. We generated quite a few shots and some decent chances and their goalie came up big on those ones. So, like I said, we should know a lot about that and about how big a factor shot-blocking and goaltending can be. And in order to beat it you’ve just got to deal with it and keep pushing and pushing and pushing.”