|Ference not taking health for granted||09.19.10 at 12:44 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference has proven himself as a capable defenseman since coming over from Calgary during the 2006-07 season. One thing he hasn’t been able to prove is an ability to stay on the ice for 82 games. Though he did so in the 2005-06 season, his last full campaign with the Flames, since coming to Boston he has yet to be able to skate in as many 60 games in a season. The most recent hiccup to Ference’s health was a groin that required offseason surgery.
Ference feels good as he enters his 11th season in the NHL, but the 31-year-old knows the game too well to assume a full season of play is a given.
“There’s nothing you can do to stop injuries from happening. It’s hockey. If something else comes up down the road, it’s not because of a lack of rehab or anything like that. It’s just the sport, so I can’t say, ‘Oh yeah. Awesome, nothing’s every going to happen again,’ but I feel great right now.”
Ference took four weeks to recover from the surgery, which took place in late May. He is skating in Group B for the team’s training camp practices and is paired with Cody Wild.
Here are a couple of other notes from a 10-minute long chat that had Zdeno Chara poking fun at the defenseman’s popularity.
– Ference is no stranger to teams making big pushes in the playoffs, as he was a member of the 2000-01 Penguins and the 2003-04 Flames. Asked how he compares this team to the past squads he’s been on, he pointed to his Penguins days in saying, “We don’t have Mario [Lemieux] on our team.” Ference played in 18 games in that postseason, one in which Pittsburgh fell to te Devils in the Eastern Conference finals.
– Ference seemed optimistic for the 2010-11 squad, referencing the Bruins overcoming “a really good test” in some regular season rough patches and earning a playoff berth.
|Going camping: a look at the rivals||09.18.10 at 5:02 pm ET|
The Bruins have opened training camp with yesterday’s fitness testing and two on-ice sessions on Saturday. Tyler Seguin figures to be the center of attention around the Garden for the time being as he adjusts to playing with NHL veterans, but the Bruins aren’t the only ones to kick things off. Here’s a quick roundup of what the Northeast division rivals have been up to.
Sabres (100 points in 2009-10)
Perhaps the biggest change in how the 2010-11 Sabres will look will be in the most literal sense of the word. The team unveiled their new jerseys for the coming season, with the overall theme encapsulating a very classic feel.
While the Bruins got their festivities started a bit early with two rookie exhibitions at the Garden this past week and a used equipment sale on Saturday, the Sabres held “Puck Drop 2010″ to mark the opening of the team’s camp. The event consisted of a street hockey game, season ticket holders picking up their tickets for the coming season, and of course, fans getting their hands on the team’s new sweaters at .
Things aren’t so joyful in Ottawa, where defenseman Filip Kuba is out after suffering a leg injury, the extent of which is being determined. Kuba played in 53 games last season and missed the final 11 of the regular season and the entire playoffs with a lower body injury.
Saturday’s injury reportedly came as a result of Kuba’s skate getting caught while on the ice for the team’s second session. The biggest injury news in the division likely remains Friday’s development regarding Marc Savard being held out by the reoccurrence of post-concussion symptoms.
Pat Hickey at the Montreal Gazette takes a look at an impressive showing early on from Ryan Russell, who picked up two points in the team’s camp-opening scrimmage. The 23-year-old forward has spent the last three seasons in the AHL and entered camp a longshot to make the Habs.
Hickey notes other players who grabbed attention, including Maxim Lapierre, who with three goals in the playoffs last season scored nearly half as many postseason goals as he did in 76 regular season games.
Maple Leafs (74)
The Maple Leafs couldn’t wait until the exhibition games to drop the gloves, as Michael Liambas, who last October was suspended for the remainder of the OHL season after a dirty hit on an opposing defenseman, squared off with Jay Rosehill. According to this report, coach Ron Wilson said that Liambas, 21, is a “very long shot” to make the team.
|Chiarelli wants Bruins to ‘respond’ to postseason collapse||09.18.10 at 1:16 am ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told both the team and the media Friday that his intention is not for the Bruins to forget the Flyers’ incredible comeback from a three-games-to-none defect in the Eastern Conference semifinals. In fact, he wants the team to use it as a reason to avoid complacency and to take the next step.
“One of the things we talked to the group about this morning was not essentially turning the page — this is always going to be in out memory — but building on it,” Chiarelli said. “I don’t think we are ever going to turn the page on it. We are going to build on it and we are going to respond to it.”
The message was well-received by Claude Julien, who noted he wants to make the city proud of their team again, and the players.
“Half of it is not forgetting what happened at the end of the season and half of it’s using it as motivation going forward,” defenseman Mark Stuart said. “It’s a little bit of both.”
For the complete story, click here.
|Tuukka Rask working on becoming a Bostonian||09.17.10 at 2:30 pm ET|
Finland native Tuukka Rask has done plenty in Boston so far as a goaltender. In his first full season splitting time with Tim Thomas in net, Rask led the NHL in both goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.931).
Now, after bringing Finland to Boston, Rask is getting more acquainted with becoming a Bostonian. After spending a couple of months in his native country, Rask did what he could to soak up the Boston atmosphere outside of hockey season.
“I had never seen Boston in the summertime, so I kind of wanted to see that. I was really impressed, it was awesome here.”
As such, his offseason activities included plenty of golfing — including charity tournaments for both Shawn Thornton and the Bruins foundation — and, like many locals this summer, taking in the Aerosmith/J. Geils Band concert at Fenway Park last month.
With fitness testing taking place Friday morning, the offseason fun is over for Rask, but if he continues what he started last season, his affection for the city will undoubtedly be reciprocated.
|Bruins release five players from training camp||09.17.10 at 1:51 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Friday that they have released five players from training camp. That group of players consists of Matt Delahey, Alain Goulet, Joe Pleckaitis, Yannick Riendeau, and Walker Wintoneak.
Saturday and Sunday will feature sessions open to the public with the squad split into two groups. Here they are:
Forwards: Jamie Arniel, Joe Colborne, Craig Cunningham, Zach Hamill, Nathan Horton, Jordan Knackstedt, Jared Knight, David Krejci, Lane MacDermid, Brad Marchand, Jeremy Reich, Michael Ryder, Jordan Smotherman, Shawn Thornton, Blake Wheeler
Goaltenders: Adam Courchaine, Nolan Schaefer, Tim Thomas
Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell, Jordan Caron, Jeff LoVecchio, Milan Lucic, Kirk MacDonald, Brian McGrattan, Levi Nelson, Daniel Paille, Tyler Randell, Mark Recchi, Antoine Roussel, Max Sauve, Tyler Seguin, Ryan Spooner
Goaltenders: Matt Dalton, Michael Hutchinson, Tuukka Rask
|Post-concussion symptoms for Savard means Seguin will stick to center||09.17.10 at 1:17 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday at TD Garden that Marc Savard notified him late in the summer that he is suffering from “symptoms related to post-concussion syndrome.” As a result, Savard, who is in Boston with his teammates as they open training camp, will not skate. The symptoms shown by the veteran center are undoubtedly a result of the March 7 hit from Penguins forward Matt Cooke.
Chiarelli said that as a result of the setback, second overall pick Tyler Seguin, expected to be moved to wing given the team’s depth at center, will stick to his original position for the time being.
“I suspect any time missed from camp for Savvy will have to be made up, just from pure conditioning and catching up,” Chiarelli said. “We’ll take it day by day, but we’re looking at other lineups now, with and without Savvy.”
Chiarelli noted that it’s been a few weeks since Savard has been able to work out after training hard throughout the earlier part of the offseason. His teammates and coach are hoping for a speedy recovery.
“It’s unfortunate,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “Right now we’re missing a real good player. …I think it’s pretty unanimous in our group that we want him back as soon as possible.”
Patrice Bergeron, no stranger to concussions when considering the 2007 hit from behind from Flyers Randy Jones, said he was made aware of the development on Friday and that he wishes Savard the best despite not having all the details. He didn’t know how to explain the negative turn Savard’s recovery has taken, but chalked that up to the nature of the injury.
“It’s so different from one guy to another with concussions. It’s hard to tell and that’s why it’s hard to treat,” Bergeron said. “That’s why doctors never really know what can and cannot happen. To me, it happened that way that it took me a long long time, that more than Savvy, and it didn’t come back but Savvy’s is coming back. It’s never the same, but I’m supporting him and I just want him to feel better.”
|Pat Burns: ‘They’re trying to kill me before I’m dead’||09.17.10 at 12:55 pm ET|
Former Bruins coach Pat Burns voiced his displeasure about a widely distributed report late Friday morning that indicated he had died. The 58-year-old Burns has waged a long battle with lung cancer but remains feisty.
Burns called Bob McKenzie of TSN after hearing the premature news of his demise. Said Burns: “Here we go again. They’re trying to kill me before I’m dead. I come to Quebec to spend some time with my family and they say I’m dead. I’m not dead, far [expletive] from it. They’ve had me dead since June. Tell them I’m alive. Set them straight.”
CTV in Ottawa had the original report and later retracted it, indicating: “We had erroneous information on Pat Burns. We have nothing to report about his medical condition at this time.”
Burns coached the Bruins for three seasons from 1997-2000 and for eight games of the 2001 season, making the playoffs twice in that span. He returned to the bench with the Devils and won the 2003 Stanley Cup.
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