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Andrew Ference on D&C: After Cup title, ‘you really realize how meaningless the stuff in the regular season is’ 12.22.11 at 1:20 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference checked in with Dennis & Callahan guest hosts Dale Arnold and Bob Ryan Thursday for his weekly chat. With the Bruins sitting atop the Eastern Conference, Ference talked about the HBO 24/7 special, the Bruins’ road success, and how Zdeno Chara became as good as he is.

The Bruins are on an impressive streak, but Ference said the excitement of the regular season just doesn’t compare to the playoffs.

“Obviously, the playoffs were more fun than it is right now,” Ference said. “I think that everybody’€™s got a pretty good head on their shoulders this year, and I think it’€™s due to the fact that we did win last year. If we wouldn’t have won last year and we were going on a run like this, I think guys would be a lot more giddy and patting ourselves on the back. But I think when you go through a championship run, you really realize how meaningless the stuff in the regular season is. All this is is prep work. And this is this trying to reach our first goal of just making the playoffs.”

Added Ference of the regular season: “It’€™s great. It’€™s entertaining. But for players it’s prep. It’€™s getting ready and trying to prime ourselves and make sure that we’€™re going in the right direction. And we’€™re learning all our lessons, but the first goal is just to try to make the playoffs. We’€™re building toward that. And I think everybody’€™s keeping a good head about it.”

Asked if this edition of the Bruins is better than last season’s Cup champions, Ference said: “It’s hard to compare, but I think the one advantage we do have is mentally. Just, like I said, learning what it takes, and not having the Stanley Cup be like a fairy tale. It’s a reality to all of us now. That’s a huge advantage. It’s one thing to imagine what it takes to win. But it’s another thing to know and to be there and go through it and have a lot of the same guys in the locker room with you again to go after it again. So, I think that’s the one huge advantage that we have over last year.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, including Ference talking about the his holiday plans, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

On the Bruins’ toughness: “I think the one thing that’€™s been done here is, obviously Peter [Chiarelli] has done a good job of getting the right personalities in the room. Because you can’t have five guys on the team that are willing to do everything they can for the team and then have 15 that aren’€™t, or 10 and 10, or whatever the split is. You need every single guy to buy in or it just doesn’€™t work.

“It really only takes two or three guys to drag down an entire team, it really does, it’€™s amazing how quickly, especially in tough times, a bad apple can just attract guys and just bring the whole room down. It happens quickly and it’€™s just like a poison, so one thing they’€™ve done good here is get rid of some of the guys that had that and bring in guys that that weren’€™t like that. That’€™s essential, especially over the long term. For as many years as a lot of us have been here it’€™s been a really great locker room. The season’s too long to have bad apples and guys that don’€™t stick up for your guys that you can’€™t look across at in the room and know that they’€™re going to work their butt off every night for you.”

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Andrew Ference sick, Rich Peverley won’t practice Thursday 12.21.11 at 12:45 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Both Andrew Ference and Rich Peverley were held out of Wednesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena. Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the practice that Ference is under the weather, while Peverley is still dealing with an ailment that is healed with rest.

The Bruins had Tuesday off, and Julien said that Peverley will not practice at all this week. The team has yet to decide whether he will play Friday against the Panthers.

“Ference is battling the famous flu bug,” Julien said. “Peverley is maintenance. Again, same thing. We’re having a good look here at our schedule and what it may do for him. We’re going to keep him off here for the next couple of days, and tomorrow is certainly another one of those days. We’ll decide whether he’s in on Friday, and if not, that will give him at least a good week. We’re going to be making a decision on him regarding his situation.”

Peverley missed two games last month, sitting out the team’s Nov. 7 and Nov. 10 victories with an undisclosed injury.

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Rich Peverley, Andrew Ference absent as Bruins return to practice at 11:01 am ET
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WILMINGTON — After taking Tuesday off, the Bruins have returned to practice, though forward Rich Peverley and defenseman Andrew Ference did not take the ice.

Peverley has been dealing with an ailment that coach Claude Julien has said is healed by rest. Julien said Monday the team was considering giving him one of this week’s games off, but he played Monday and it remains to be seen whether he plays Friday against the Panthers.

It may be a maintenance day for Ference.

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Andrew Ference returns to practice 11.29.11 at 10:48 am ET
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WILMINGTON — As Claude Julien suggested Monday, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference returned to practice Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena.

Ference, who missed two games earlier this month with a lower-body injury, was given a maintenance day on Monday. All other players were present Tuesday, with the color-coded lines remaining the same.

The B’s are preparing for the first game of a home-and-home with the Maple Leafs, which begins Wednesday in Toronto.

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All but Andrew Ference present at Bruins practice 11.28.11 at 11:02 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Everyone with the exception of Andrew Ference was on the ice Monday as the Bruins returned to practice at Ristuccia Arena.

[UPDATE: 12:55 p.m.] Coach Claude Julien said after the team’s practice that it was a maintenance day for Ference and that “he’ll be back on the ice tomorrow.”

The defenseman missed two games this month with a lower body injury, but it’s unknown at the moment whether it’s the same issue that kept Ference out Monday.

All of the Bruins’ lines were unchanged.

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Bruins exact revenge on Canadiens, record ninth-straight win 11.21.11 at 10:28 pm ET
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Throughout much of the Bruins’ current nine-game win streak, Boston grabbed victories by blowing out opponents. On Monday night, the Bruins proved they could win the close, low-scoring games as well when they shut out the Canadiens, 1-0, in Montreal.

The win moved the Bruins into second place behind the Penguins in the Eastern Conference and into first in the Northeast Division after residing in the basement of both the conference and division just 16 days ago. The last Bruins loss came at the hands of the Canadiens on Oct. 29 at the Bell Centre.

Tim Thomas made 32 saves to earn his second consecutive shutout, both of which came on the road. Defenseman Andrew Ference scored the only goal of the game on a wrister 15:41 into the first period. Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly recorded assists on the tally.

The Bruins will attempt to carry their win streak into double digits when they return to the ice on Wednesday in Buffalo.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– Ference ended Carey Price‘€™s six-period shutout streak 15:41 into the game with a goal on a cross-ice feed from Rich Peverley that Ference roofed over Price’€™s glove. The goal was Ference’€™s second in as many games. It came on a delayed penalty against Montreal, but the extra-attacker had yet to reach the zone.

– Thomas was outstanding in net on Monday night. He saw the puck extremely well and was in perfect position all night. Thomas made quite a few spectacular saves, including one at the end of the second period when he robbed Mike Camalleri on a power-play jam attempt. He proved how well he was tracking the puck when he snagged a Scott Gomez tip of a Camalleri shot that changed direction at the last moment.

– The Bruins penalty kill had to step up in big moments on Monday. They were tasked with stopping the Canadiens on a four-minute kill that bridged the second and third periods, and then, with Price getting pulled in the waning moments of the game, had to kill off a 6-on-4 for the final 1:39 of the game. The saying goes that a good penalty kill starts with strong goaltending, and although Thomas was strong in net, the Bruins defenders did an admirable job clearing out pucks and pinning plays against the boards. At the end of the second period, Daniel Paille proved the Bruins commitment to the penalty kill when he dove to clear out a puck despite being fresh off surgery for a broken nose.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– Former Canadien Benoit Pouliot put the Bruins’€™ lead in peril with six penalty minutes off of stick penalties in the second period. Pouliot’€™s second penalty, a four-minute double minor for high sticking, came less than three minutes after the end of his first. Bruins coach Claude Julien made Pouliot pay in the third by benching him for all but 13 seconds of the period.

– The Bruins were unable to sustain much offensive pressure throughout the game, and the top two lines were quiet for most of the night. Brad Marchand and David Krejci failed to put any shots on net. The Bruins in all barely tested Price, putting up 18 shots on the night. They were outshot 14-5 in the third period.

Read More: Andrew Ference, Montreal Canadiens, Tim Thomas,
Andrew Ference on D&C: Bruins take the Bill Belichick approach on trade rumors 11.18.11 at 10:11 am ET
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Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning for his weekly appearance. With their 2-1 shootout win over the Blue Jackets Thursday night, Ference and the Bruins have now won seven straight games, all in the month of November. But the win over Columbus was not as easy — or as pretty — as the other wins have been for Boston. Ference said that’s just all part of the game.

“It definitely wasn’t a pretty thing to watch,” Ference said. “They came to play and it was a weird game, it probably wasn’t the best game to watch. What can you do? Those happen, but come playoff time, we’ll take the points.”

Coming up big for Boston was goaltender Tuukka Rask, who had 30 saves and stopped two of the three attempts in the shootout. Rask was part of trade rumors early in the week, as some have speculated that the Bruins would consider trading him for Blue Jackets high scorer Rick Nash.

The rumors only got more press when Rask appeared to have an angry meltdown in practice on Wednesday when he gave up a goal during a special teams drill and tried to break his stick over the crossbar. But Ference said he doesn’t think the team pays much attention to trade speculation.

“I’m not even really sure who pays attention to that stuff. I know most guys don’t,” Ference said. “I think most guys kind of go to the Bill Belichick, never read anything that goes on. It sounds like a cop out, but I really think guys don’t pay attention to it.”

Ference went on to say that it’s an advantage to have two solid goaltenders in Rask and Tim Thomas.

“[Rask] is great for us. I think it’s awesome to have two goalies that we can have complete confidence in,” Ference said. “From a player’s perspective, you want the best players on your team. Players that you have the greatest chance of winning with. And if I can look back and see two goalies that gives us an unbelievable chance of winning every night, why wouldn’t I want that? I’d be crazy not to.”

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