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Claude Julien: Andrew Ference not yet a game-time decision, Tuukka Rask ‘has a temper’ 11.16.11 at 1:33 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — After practicing for the first time since his lower-body injury, Bruins defenseman said that he is “still day-to-day,” but the Bruins doubt he will play Thursday against the Blue Jackets.

“I don’t think we’re even at that stage yet for Andrew where it’s a game-time decision,” Claude Julien said. “I don’t even know if he’s been assessed well enough to make that comment, but maybe that will change tomorrow morning.”

Perhaps the most interesting moment of Wednesday’s practice came when an enraged Tuukka Rask banged his stick on the cross-bar four times and threw his stick through the door and off the ice following a goal from Patrice Bergeron‘s line.

“Tuukka has a temper,” Julien said. “It’s not the first time he’s exhibited that. He gets mad and he’s competitive. It’s never a bad thing as long as it’s for the right reasons.”

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Andrew Ference returns to Bruins practice at 11:53 am ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins a returned to practice in anticipation of Thursday night’s tilt with the Blue Jackets.

Andrew Ference, who suffered a lower-body injury last Thursday against the Oilers, skated with the team, marking the second straight day he’s skated and his first practice since the injury. He is considered day-to-day.

All other players were present as well, with Daniel Paille the guy to watch for a potential return to the lineup Thursday. The guess here is that they might wait another game, especially with Benoit Pouliot coming off a big night Tuesday.

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Andrew Ference takes the ice 11.15.11 at 11:50 am ET
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Andrew Ference did not participate in the Bruins’ morning skate Tuesday, but the injured defenseman did return to the ice prior to the skate. Ference left Thursday’s game against the Oilers with a lower-body injury and did not play Saturday night. Claude Julien had said the defenseman was close to skating again Monday, and was glad to see him progress on Tuesday.

“He skated, and it’s his first game of skating,” Julien said. “… He’s come along, so he started saint again today. Hopefully he’ll progress. … He becomes day-to-day the minute he steps on the ice.”

Julien hadn’t yet spoken to trainers about Ference on Tuesday, but said he might know by Tuesday night whether Ference might practice with the team on Wednesday.

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Andrew Ference only player missing at Bruins practice 11.14.11 at 11:04 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Andrew Ference was the only player missing at Bruins’ practice Monday, as the defenseman has been out with a lower-body injury.

After taking part in Saturday’s morning skate, forward Daniel Paille was back on the ice donning a full cage. Paille was hit in the face by a Steve Staios slapshot last Monday.

Milan Lucic, who has a phone hearing with Brendan Shanahan at 1 pm., was on the ice. Shanahan will determine whether the left wing will be suspended for Saturday’s hit on Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.

Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot – Chris Kelly – Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille/Jordan Caron – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton

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Andrew Ference out vs. Sabres 11.11.11 at 4:20 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters Friday that defenseman Andrew Ference, who left Thursday’s game in the second period with a lower-body injury, will not play Saturday against the Sabres.

It will be the first game of the season missed for Ference, who played 70 regular-season games last season. With Ference out, Steven Kampfer will play his third game of the season.

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Andrew Ference on D&C: ‘Turn the page’ from miserable October 11.04.11 at 12:13 pm ET
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Andrew Ference

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning for his weekly appearance. Ference talked about Boston’s win over Ottawa Tuesday night and how the Bruins are looking to rebound from a poor start to the season.

“We definitely wanted to turn the page from the last month,” Ference said. “November, it’s symbolic of a new page for us. We wanted to make it a good month. It was frustrating in October. We didn’t play as good as we want to, and then some of the games where we had multiple posts and games it was frustrating that way. It was good to get out of that month.”

After starting the season 2-7, the Bruins have won their last two games. They will face the Northeast division-leading Maple Leafs on Saturday in Toronto. Ference also talked about the importance of momentum, something Boston certainly didn’t have early in the season.

“A very powerful tool,” Ference said of momentum. “It can be really powerful. It can. Sometimes you don’t really want to believe it, especially when you’re losing. But it can work both ways. Momentum and confidence, when you say those words, you’re talking about the same thing. It’s just a matter of feeling good.”

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

On players trying to make plays when the team is struggling: “That can almost be a trap as well. When you start to get in that kind of mindset where it’s up to you to do something special to open up the game or change things around. There’s a difference between playing really good, solid hockey and doing your job well, and trying to do too much. Usually when guys try to do too much, it’s a bad thing.

“We’re the type of team that doesn’t really on complete individual talent or one guy doing something really special. We really do rely on a strong system.”

On his most important quality for a coach: “I think first and foremost is honesty. Just being up front. That covers a lot of things, but just being up front with his assessment of the games. Being honest in fact where he treats players, whether it’s the star or whether it’s the fourth-line guy or whether it’s the rookie or whether it’s the veteran, if he holds them to the same standard. I think those things are so important. When you start having different rules for different players and different expectations, it breaks the room down.”

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Andrew Ference on D&C: ‘We needed a little shakeup’ 10.21.11 at 10:47 am ET
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Andrew Ference

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference joined Dennis & Callahan Friday morning for his weekly appearance. After the Bruins’ dominating 6-2 victory over the Maple Leafs 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 in recent days. The top line of Milan Lucic, Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin 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.

‪”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‘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.

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.”

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