At the morning skate, Ference said he was ready to go after being sidelined since Game 5 of the first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but that it would be the coach's decision whether he played or not.
Julien refused to commit either way in the morning, deftly avoiding the question. Even in warmups, he held his cards close to the vest, having Bartowski take the majority of the rushes with second-pair partner Johnny Boychuk. Ference stepped in for a few rushes, but to most it appeared Ference would be the odd-man out and Julien would stay with a formula that had won four of the past five games.
Instead, Julien tabbed Ference, who has won a Stanley Cup, been to another Final, and has 110 games of postseason experience.
"Everyone wants to be part of the mix," Ference said Saturday morning. "You have to feel like you can contribute in any way. You can do that in many ways; be positive and supportive and all that stuff. There's more than what just happens on the ice."