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Why Andrew Ference loves Boston 04.16.13 at 4:13 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — One of the reason Boston is considered such a great sports town is because of the standard it sets. It isn’t for everyone. Star players have failed here, because it takes a certain kind of player to embrace Boston and everything that comes with it.

Andrew Ference is one of those players. Since being traded to the Bruins in 2007, he’s soaked up every bit of it. When the Bruins won the Cup, he put it in a baby stroller and walked it around the North End. Though he’s an Edmonton native, he’s really taken to being a Bostonian, so when he puts on his jersey Wednesday night and takes the ice, he won’t feel a sudden attachment to the city in wake of Monday’s bombings.

“You’re always proud. It’s not like we’re just here today all of a sudden saying, ‘We love Boston,’” Ference said. “This is a team that’s woven itself into the neighborhoods that they live in. They’ve really embraced the fact that they’re residents here. I don’t think anybody just feels like they’re here for a visit. That’s been a special part about our team, so I think that something like this obviously magnifies all the things that [make] you care about the city. You’re proud no matter what to not just be part of a sports team, but part of the community. That’s why people love it here so much.”

Ference, 34, has also played for the Penguins and Flames in his career, but he’s really made a home in Boston, like so many other Bruins. The Bruins’ roster has everything from organizational lifers (Patrice Bergeron) to former journeymen who eventually became mainstays (Shawn Thornton) and everything in between. Ference’s love for the city is obvious, as is the case with guys like Nathan Horton, and the alternate captain said there’s no shortage of reasons why.

“It’s a great community. People look you in the eye and they talk to each other. People aren’t strangers here. I think that’s why guys love playing here and living here and have fully embraced different events,” Ference said. “We’ve had tons of families that go to different things that the city offers. ‘€¦ If we [didn't have a game scheduled] last night, the whole team probably would have been down there. It’s not like we just hole up in our houses. Guys are really part of the city. What’s not to love?”

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Canadiens hold moment of silence for Boston, Bruins express condolences 04.15.13 at 7:57 pm ET
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Bruins past and present expressed their condolences in the aftermath of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon. The Bruins weren’t the only ones in the hockey world concerned, as the rival Canadiens held a moment of silence prior to their game against the Flyers Monday.

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Bruins postpone game vs. Senators in light of Boston Marathon bombing at 4:48 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference tweeted Monday afternoon that Monday’s game against the Senators had been postponed, confirming an earlier report from Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston. The Bruins followed by confirming that the game had been postponed, though the makeup date is not yet known.

The postponing comes in light of Monday’s events at the Boston Marathon, where two bomb explosions resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. Bruins president Cam Neely issued the following statement:

‘€œAfter consultation with City, State and NHL officials we collectively made the decision to postpone tonight’s game. Public safety personnel from the City and State are still gathering information regarding today’s events and it is vital they have all resources available for their investigation. The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the Bruins organization are with the city of Boston and all those affected by today’s tragedy.’€

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Andrew Ference will be healthy scratch Monday vs. Senators as Dougie Hamilton returns at 12:49 pm ET
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As the Bruins take turns resting their players leading up to the postseason, Andrew Ference will be a healthy scratch Monday.

“We’re going to rotate some players in and out here from here on in,” Claude Julien said. “We decide to make that decision no matter what, so Ference will be the one sitting out tonight.”

With Ference out, Dougie Hamilton will make his return to the lineup after sitting out the last two games. In addition to playing the entire NHL season leading up to Thursday’s loss to the Islanders, Hamilton had played in the Canada-Russia Junior Challenge series in August before playing in the OHL throughout the lockout.

“I give him a lot of credit for for how well he’s played through all of that. For a young player, to handle all of those minutes and games [is] unbelievable.”

Hamilton, 19, has four goals and 11 assists for 15 point in NHL games this season. Though he’s had some ups and downs, his rookie campaign has been largely impressive as he has been a top-four blueliner for the B’s from the get-go.

Hamilton had told Julien earlier in the season that if he wasn’t playing well enough and Julien wanted to scratch him, he’d understand. He said Monday that while he’d rather be playing, he thinks the rest could be good for him.

“Just playing so much, it feels like the end of the year, which it is, but I think just to get a rest I guess, mentally, and most of all just to get away from playing and to be able to come back, it kind of feels like junior a little bit when you get the week off and then you go back to playing the weekend,” he said. “Hopefully I didn’t get too rusty over that couple days, but I think I feel good.”

Added Hamilton: “Obviously it’s a lot more fun playing and being in the room and I guess being part of the team, but I thought it was good.”

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Barry Pederson on D&C: Bruins ‘need to get their power play going’ 02.12.13 at 11:32 am ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Barry Pederson checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to talk about the team’s hot start to the season.

The Bruins are 8-1-1 and two points behind the Devils for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. However, there is one area of play where the B’s definitely can improve.

“A big concern, of course, I think is the power play,” Pederson said. “These games right now, even though they’re off to the best start in franchise history in 10 games at 8-1-1, their power play is right near the bottom again. They got away with it in the Stanley Cup run, but I don’t think you can do it two years in a row. They need to get their power play going. They’ve outplayed teams I think a lot more than the score shows.”

One of the Bruins’ most aggressive and controversial players is Brad Marchand. He is off to a great start, scoring six goals and recording one assist.

Brad Marchand is an extraordinarily important part of this hockey team,” Pederson said. “He helps set a lot of the energy. He’s a good specialty team guy, he’s great with his speed, backs off the other team’s defense. As we all know, as Bruins fans, if he was on the other team I don’t think we’d like him quite as much.”

Another key part to the team’s success is Andrew Ference. While the defenseman doesn’t always get the deserved recognition, he clearly is a critical part to the team.

“I think he is one of the most underrated players on this team,” Pederson said. “He’s more gifted offensively than he’s given credit for. He’s not necessarily big in stature, but he’ll stick his nose in there. He and [Adam] McQuaid are a very, very steady tandem out there. I think one through six on team defense the Bruins are as good as anybody. … He’s a guy that’s a good leader.”

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Read More: Andrew Ference, Barry Pederson, Brad Marchand, Henrik Lundqvist
Shootout magic: Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask come up big as Bruins beat Devils 01.29.13 at 9:48 pm ET
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Brad Marchand scored the decisive goal in the sixth round while Tuukka Rask stopped 5-of-6 shots in the shootout as the Bruins beat the Devils, 2-1 in overtime Tuesday night at TD Garden. The Bruins (5-0-1) have gained at least a point in all six games this season. The highlight of the shootout came when Tyler Seguin had to re-do his first shot that produced a goal because a fan threw something on the ice. Seguin repeated his effort and scored again.

The Bruins and Devils are the only teams in the Eastern Conference without a regulation loss so far, joining San Jose and Chicago in the West, who were perfect coming into Tuesday’s action.

The two teams battled to a scoreless tie in the opening 20 minutes. Each team recorded nine shots on goal but neither team sustained serious pressure. The main highlight of the first period was a fight between Boston enforcer Shawn Thornton and New Jersey tough guy Krys Barch. In a bout that lasted for nearly a minute and a half, Thornton landed several clean shots before the two were broken apart by the officials, with both teams applauding their skater for staying on their feet the entire time.

The Bruins killed off an Andrew Ference tripping penalty with five minutes left in the first, giving them 24 straight kills to open the season.

But the Bruins were not as lucky in the second period as Johnny Boychuk was whistled for tripping at 7:22. David Clarkson redirected a Marek Zidlicky shot from the left point past Tuukka Rask for the first power play goal allowed by the Bruins in 25 chances this season.

The Bruins would kill off the next three power play chances and finished the game 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. They are 27-of-28 on the penalty kill this season.

The Bruins came out with much greater intensity in the opening minute of the third period and were buzzing around Johan Hedberg. Boston’s best chance came when Dougie Hamilton fired a shot from the left point that just went wide, missing the stick of David Krejci. Instead of a goal, Krejci was called for goaltender interference, taking some momentum away from the Bruins. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andrew Ference, Boston Bruins, David Clarkson, David Krejci
Andrew Ference ‘deeply sorry that we had to miss so much hockey’ 01.06.13 at 9:19 am ET
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Between his humor and smarts, Andrew Ference is one of the more interesting professional athletes to follow on Twitter. Given that, it should come as no surprise that the Bruins defenseman, who was on hand for this weekend’s negotiations, celebrated the end of the lockout with both humor and a sincere apology for leaving so many without hockey.

Ference, an environmentalist who offsets his travel throughout the season’s impact by purchasing carbon credits, kicked things off with a simple thumbs up and later tweeted a picture of the assembled media in New York with a “Game on” caption before adding the following:

On a more serious note, the veteran blueliner expressed remorse over the 113-day lockout.

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