|Patrice Bergeron, Andrew Ference and Blake Wheeler contribute to early Bruins lead||12.18.10 at 7:44 pm ET|
On a 2-on-2, Wheeler attracted the attention of both Washington defenders and dropped the puck off to Bergeron, who beat Michal Neuvirth at 3:27 for his sixth goal of the season. Ference then scored his first goal in 99 games by sending one past Neuvirth from the point.
Bergeron returned the favor in setting up Wheeler’s eighth of the season, and suddenly that second line is looking awfully good of late.
Following the Ference goal. Matt Bradley tried to swing the momentum in Washington’s favor by dropping the gloves with Adam McQuaid. Unfortunately for Bradley, the Garden only got louder as McQuaid unequivocally pummeled the Capitals winger.
Tim Thomas saw only five shots, stopping them all.
|Bruins know they can’t erase playoff collapse in regular season grudge matches||12.11.10 at 1:21 pm ET|
The Bruins know that Saturday marks the Flyers’ first game back at TD Garden since completing a historic comeback from being down three games to none with 4-3 Game 7 victory that left the B’s dumfounded, confused, and utterly stunned.
They also know that nothing that happens on Saturday will change the past.
The B’s won the first grudge match (if you can call it that) by grabbing a 3-0 win in Philadelphia on Dec. 1, but nothing the team does prior to late April can make up for their postseason collapse. The players see that.
“I think people here are good enough hockey fans to know that redemption comes in the form of the playoffs,” Andrew Ference said. “Obviously, during the season you want to stick it to a team, but it’s a long road and I think people here want to see us play good hockey, want to see us put on a good performance and play to our level.”
Fans will pack the Garden with revenge on their minds Saturday night, and the Bruins are well aware as to why. The players have done everything they could with that Easter Conference semifinals failure: discussed it, tried to forget about it, sought out a lesson in there, etc. The only thing that actually matters is whether they can respond to it.
The idea of responding was discussed plenty in training camp, as Peter Chiarelli, Claude Julien, and the players saw it as the only appropriate — and productive — thing to do. As a result, Saturday night won’t be about conquering the Flyers and calling it even.
“You’re never going to make up for that by beating them in the regular season, but that was the past,” Blake Wheeler said. “We can’t do anything about that now. The only thing we can control is how we play now. If we play well tonight in front of our home crowd and do the things we’re supposed to do in front of them, I think they’re going to appreciate it. That’s all we can control now, is what we do today, tomorrow, and in the future.”
Regardless of what happens in the team’s second meeting of the season, each side will have their memories of what happened when it really mattered.
“I think that if you come away with a win during the regular season, it doesn’t redeem feelings from last year or anything like that,” Ference said. “I think that it should be par for the course that when Philly’s in town, it’s usually a pretty good game.”
|Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg return to Bruins practice||10.14.10 at 10:54 am ET|
Ference had recently received a cortisone shot in his thumb and was advised by doctors not to shoot pucks. As a result, he skated prior to practice on Wednesday but left the ice before the skate began. Seidenberg, meanwhile, left Wednesday’s practice after half an hour with what coach Claude Julien said was either a touch of the flu or food poisoning.
The Bruins, 1-1 on the season, will play their third game on Saturday when they travel to New Jersey to square off with the Devils.
|Julien offers updates on Savard, Sturm, Ference, and Seidenberg||10.13.10 at 12:51 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the team’s first practice since returning to the United States that the club is better off not putting unnecessary pressure on Marc Savard has he recovers from post-concussion syndrome symptoms. Savard has been unable to take the ice since failing his impact test when the team opened training camp in September.
“I’ve taken the approach that as long as he’s not with us, I’ve got to keep working with our group here,” Julien said. “I haven’t had any real good chances to talk with the medical staff and stuff like that, but he’s been working out, that much I know. It’s getting better every day, so I’m looking forward to seeing him on the ice, and we’ll take it from there.
“He’s behind by at least a month, a month and a half already, where we’ve been on the ice, so we have to be patient and give him a chance to come back. Right now I don’t think there’s any reason why we should push this guy to get back more than we should be helping him to get back. That’s the thing we have to make sure we do here, is give him due time to make that comeback, and when he’s ready to make it, we’ll help him through it.”
Julien also added that Marco Sturm, another long-term injury player (knee) is expected to begin skating in the coming days as he continues his recovery.
Both Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference left the ice early on Wednesday. Julien said that while Seidenberg was dealing with either the flu or food poisoning, Ference was unable to shoot pucks due to a cortisone shot he received in his thumb. Julien noted that the veteran defenseman’s thumb ailment is “very, very minor” and that he won’t miss additional practice time due to it.
|Bruins have sleeping in the aisles to thank for energetic practice||09.30.10 at 3:02 pm ET|
BELFAST — If you expected the Bruins to roll into Belfast falling over themselves with fatigue, as unlikely as it would seem given the last two days and jet lag, you were somehow wrong.
Just a few hours after arriving at their hotel, the team tore up the ice at the Odyssey Arena in a high-energy practice. One of the highlights of the skate, which was a truly entertaining hour and a half, was a drill in which a skater would take a penalty shot. Players would essentially bet sprints on whether they would score, lining up on one wall to signify their faith in the scorer and the other to support the goaltender. Players laughed throughout the drill — hearing it from teammates as they would shift from wall to wall based on the shooter — but by the end of it had skated plenty.
Though one might think a practice in which players were both sprinting tirelessly and in high spirits would be impossible after a five-hour flight that came with a five-hour time-difference, that’s simply what came of Thursday’s skate.
“I think guys are trying to compensate for the tired legs and stuff and trying to get the most out of it,” defenseman Andrew Ference said. “Coach has had this planned out for a while, what the day was going to look like, just to try to get over the jet lag as quick as possible. We knew the practice was going to be a good one to get the legs going, and I think guys took it seriously. We want to get on the right foot as quick as possible here.”
Asked if he was able to get any shuteye on the plane, Ference said he employed a tactic used in his WHL days.
“I think all the guys that played in the Western League (slept) on the floor. We’re used to sleeping on the floor of the bus.”
“Oh yeah. The Western League guys are pros at that. I grabbed a towel that was as thin as paper and got down there for a bit.”
To sleep on the floor during a flight with a plane full of teammates may be a sign of faith that pranksters would refrain from tapping their feet or employing other tactics to disrupt one’s slumber. Ference wasn’t worried about such shenanigans interfering with his rest, but for a different reason.
“Z’s part of the Western League boys,” he explained, “so if anybody messes around [they to deal with Zdeno Chara].”
As for how Ference did at choosing in the penalty-shot fiasco, he ended up skating quite a bit after the shooters got off to a hot start.
“I’m a good guy, so I bet on the gaol-scorers every single time,” Ference said in defense of himself. “Well, maybe the goalies won’t think I’m a god guy, but I believed in our goal-scorers every time. It was probably about half (right) and half (wrong) I think.”
|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.
|Ference in New Orleans to support Gulf Coast||07.12.10 at 7:37 pm ET|
A group of current and former professional athletes including Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference and his wife, former snowboarder Krista Bradford Ference, are meeting Monday night and will visit the site of the BP oil disaster Monday, the Bruins announced Monday.
The group, which also includes Rangers great Mike Richter, NFL fullbacks Mike Alstott (formerly of the Buccaneers) and Ovie Mughelli (currently with the Falcons), NASCAR racer Leilani Munter, and Olympians Stacey Cook (skier), hammer thrower Loree Smith , and race-walker Gary Morgan, will view the damages and “demonstrate their support for Gulf Coast communities.”
Ference wrapped up his fourth season as a Bruin in 2009-2010 and in March signed a three-year extension. He has totaled 54 points in 183 games since being acquired in the ’06-’07 season from the Flames.
Ference has been known for being mindful of the environment since his time in Calgary. The Sierra Club, which is organizing the trip, is the country’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. Ference will speak to the media following the experience, so check back for more as it comes.