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BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak on Wednesday, fresh off a great comeback bid against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
The Bruins faced a 3-0 hole against the Rangers entering the third period last night, but scored three-unanswered to swipe a point from the contest. For the season, the Bruins are outscoring opponents 15-5 in the third period.
“I think our team has been good with consistency. You look at the last few years the way we play games is that our first period should look a lot like our first period – the intensity and physicality of it,” said Ference. “That’s one of our strengths; that over the course of the game we can wear teams down. If we’re playing the right way we can chip away at what they have to offer. By the time you get to the third you have defensemen that are maybe beat up and a little tired and worn out. If we’re consistent in playing the way we can, we’ll get our chances and be able to bury.”
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The Bruins continue to struggle on the power play though, going 0-for-4 Tuesday night to drop to 9.3-percent on the season — tied for 28th in the NHL. Even more eyebrows were raised Tuesday night as the Bruins scored a pair of 6-on-5 goals, making it even more frustrating that they can’t find the back of the net on 5-on-4′s.
While Ference doesn’t play on either of Claude Julien’s power play units, he still wasn’t spared the questioning on Wednesday.
“The power play can turn into a weird thing. We’re a great 5-on-5 team, and you saw on the 6-on-5 how we were chasing down pucks and winning battles; it was controlled chaos almost. Sometimes you can get into the power play and you’re too controlled; you’re too worried about getting the perfect setup and doing something real pretty, whereas in the 6-on-5 the clock is ticking and you need a couple goals,” explained Ference. “If there’s a lane you’re throwing it at the net, not looking for the perfect play. That’s probably the biggest thing; we’re not the type of team that can tick-tack-toe and make pretty plays like Detroit. It is more of a chaotic crash and bang-the-puck-in team.”
Despite the issues on the man-advantage, Boston is off to an 8-1-2 start and have the second-most points in the Eastern Conference at 18 (New Jersey is first with 19). One thing the Bruins can tout is a very close group in their locker room, one that has been together the last few seasons. Ference believes that is a huge advantage for them, especially in this lockout-shortened season.
“I think one of our biggest advantages over a lot of teams is we’ve had the same group of guys for a while now, including the coaching staff. It gets rid of a lot of the BS in rooms where you can’t look a guy in the eye and know what he’s going to offer you. I think everyone is past that on our team and knows what everyone expects from you,” said Ference. “You can be brutally honest with each other, and we’ve always had a group of guys that knows you’re going to lose some games. But at the end of the loss you should still somewhat be proud of some things you did that are positives. That’s the thing with our team; we have a proud bunch of guys that win more often than not, but even in losses we’re not going to beat ourselves up as long as the effort was there and we put in all we could.”
Find out what Ference things about Rangers forward Rick Nash, the Boston fans, and former Bruins goalie Tim Thomas: