Boston, MA — Andrew Ference
has watched the last seven Bruins games hoping for a better outcome. As a player forced to be a fan, the defenseman is, of course, frustrated.
But unlike the rest of the Hub of Hockey, this particular "fan" will have the opportunity to take things into his own hands—hopefully sooner than later.
The Bruins defenseman suffered a groin injury at Ottawa almost a month ago on Jan. 5, and has recently been back to practice with his teammates. Though the timeline for his return is not yet cemented, Ference said he’s recovering ahead of schedule. But in the interim, he has spent his time on the injured reserve watching the games from the press box, and patiently waiting for his chance to get back.
“I’m kind of just like another frustrated fan,” Ference said. “But I think we probably beat that to death as far as how tough it is to go through a stretch like this.
“From the outside looking in, I’m actually pretty impressed with how guys are handling it.”
He went on to explain that, from what he’s seen, he thinks the B’s have been playing well, but “just missed kind of finishing some of our chances.” The facts support his theory, with five of the last seven games being lost by a margin of only one goal.
“Nobody wants to go through tough times and nobody enjoys it, but you can’t let that cloud kind of take over your room and you can’t… just accept the losses,” Ference said before adding that the B's are doing many things right. “Like I said, the wins and the goals are the only things missing right now.”
Ference spent his first few practices back with the Bruins participating in most drills, while being careful not to strain his injury, avoiding both stops and starts and contact. Despite his limited clearance, he said he was happy to just be back working with the team.
“It’s obviously nice to be on the ice with the guys a little bit sooner than expected so it’s great,” he said. “It’s a lot more fun than working out by yourself.”
As his teammates prepare to face the formidable Washington Capitals tonight at the TD Garden, Ference will be watching with the rest of the Bruins faithful, with fingers crossed and hopes high. He said that he and the rest of B’s are more than ready to snap their losing streak.
“It’s not easy to keep your chin up and try to see the light, but I think the guys are doing a pretty good job of that,” he said. “We just got to turn it into wins now.”