WILMINGTON, Mass. — According to a report from James Murphy of ESPNBoston.com, Boston Bruins defensemen Andrew Ference and Wade Redden, both suffering from lower body injuries, practiced with the team on Tuesday.
As Murphy notes, the fact that Ference was skating is indeed a “good sign”, but that does not give him the automatic go for Saturday’s opening game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Coach Claude Julien addressed this while speaking to the media today.
“It’s a good sign that he’s practicing with us,” Julien said. “I don’t know. Again, it’s a medical issue that unless the trainers say it’s a go -- sometimes he may be ready, but could be a risky kind of ready. We’ll wait and see what our trainers say and how Andrew feels, as well, before we make any decision on him.”
As far as Redden’s status went, Julien was non-committal as well.
“I think to answer that, in a pinch if we needed him, I’m sure we could use him,” Julien said.
Ference was just happy to be back on the ice, as the Black and Gold prepare for another run at the coveted crown jewel that is the Stanley Cup.
“I’m skating really well,” Ference said. “It’s nice to get back on the ice and get back into a practice. The last few days on my own, it was good to get those kinds of days under my belt. The last couple of days I had great skates and today was my fifth day on the ice. So it’s been really good. It’s different when you get other guys on the ice and can actually practice, but to have four days completely on your own like a hockey school, it was really nice and it’s rare to get that kind of ice time to do exactly what you need as an individual. So it was beneficial.”
Ference has played in four contests this postseason, recording seven shots on net. He has not played in a game since May 10 against Toronto. Redden meanwhile has made an admirable contribution to a team that has been clicking on all cylinders, notching a goal and an assist in addition to nine shots on net.
Although their numbers may not be eye-popping, their value to this team is, and their contributions will be welcomed as the Black and Gold prepare for a powerhouse Pittsburgh team Saturday night on the road.