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Bruins' Ference skating, working his way back

Monday, 05.27.2013 / 12:07 PM

By Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent / Penguins-Bruins series blog

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Bruins' Ference skating, working his way back

BOSTON -- While most of the Boston Bruins players were kept off the ice Monday, two days after their series-clinching win against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, injured defenseman Andrew Ference skated with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides at TD Garden.

Ference has not played since Game 5 of the first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bruins coach Claude Julien said Ference has been skating for a few days.

"He's obviously on the mend, but not ready to say he's ready to go yet," Julien said during a press conference Monday.

The Bruins, who will start the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins soon, eliminated the Rangers in five games without Ference and fellow veteran defenseman Wade Redden, while Dennis Seidenberg sat out until Game 5. Rookies Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton filled in well for the missing veterans until Seidenberg replaced Hamilton in Game 5.

Should Ference become healthy enough to play, Julien will have to make a difficult decision.

"A lot goes into it," Julien said. "At one point you make a decision and it doesn't mean that it's an easy one, because it's not. We'll deal with it when the time comes. We did it with Seidenberg. And if Ference becomes available, we'll have to deal with that too."

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I definitely think going back down helped me, I had a lot of confidence down there, I played a lot of minutes and I think that helped me a lot. With the 37 games up here, that gave me experience as well. I know what it takes to play in the NHL and now it's time for me to show that I'm capable of being a full-time NHL player.

— Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on finishing the 2014-15 season in juniors after playing 37 games with Edmonton to begin the season