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Bruins by the Numbers: 21

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- Like many of his teammates, Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference has had a busy summer. Not only has he worked hard to come back from injury, but he also helped the Gulf of Mexico begin its rehabilitation from the BP oil spill.

"I think watching the news and reading the paper and stuff like that, [people have] a certain sense of what it is like," said Ference of his trip down to New Orleans and the site of the spill. "But it’s not like we went down there with expectations of fixing the problem or solving any issues.

"It was a group of athletes that were going down there to keep the issues in the news."

The spill remains in the news, but the coverage has already begun to wane and that saddens Ference.

"These [issues] massive and so important for us to comprehend how big it is and how many people’s lives are destroyed and completely affected," said Ference. "It’s not a news story that can kind of just go from the headlines.

"I want my kids to have a good future and a lot of people are kind of realizing it beyond some of the polarizing issues in the state, politics and all that stuff.

"It’s just about doing the right thing...[and] it’s a shame if we don’t learn from this lesson that it’s a wake-up call for some of the technologies to try to get away from this oil and get away from some of our dependency on things that aren’t working well for us."

Working out in BC...
Beyond rehabbing the ocean, Ference's personal reclamation project took up much of his time. Hockey wise, the D-man would like to get away from the injury bug which has plagued him last season and toward that end, Ference has worked hard all summer back home in Britsh Columbia with former Bruins forward Chuck Kobasew to build his body back up.

"The two of us have been going really hard on a new program, we have a new trainer this year that we’ve been using and it’s fantastic," said Ference. "We have obviously been pushing ourselves harder than probably any other summer.

"I feel great [so it's] 'Fingers crossed' that everything goes well and you stay healthy all year.

"I definitely have confidence going into this season feeling no ill effects," he said.

Speaking of ill effects, unlike many of his teammates, Ference said that regardless of how it happened, the loss to the Flyers hurt just as much as any loss in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

"I think if you truly care about your team and hockey, the way I view it is there is only one team that gets to be satisfied at the end of the year," said Ference, succinctly. "Every other player in the league is disappointed whether you don’t make playoffs or whether you lose out first round or last round.

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
"When we played in Calgary [after] game seven [in 2004] people would say, ‘Well yeah you guys played so well you should be proud.'

I remember the exact conversation...[People] were like, 'Well how does it feel looking back at last year?' and I said it there, too, that it sucks and I’m disappointed. It’s not a positive thing.

"I don’t view anything but winning the championship as a successful year."

And Ference isn't buying that the B's were distracted by the Winter Classic or the Olympics or high expectations last year, either.

"They are a distraction if you let them be a distraction," said Ference. "Same with the Europe trip or the injuries -- you could put anything on the list.

"Anything could be a distraction...It is [all about] what you make of it and how you let it affect you.

"I fully agree that the European trip can be fantastic, it can be a really good experience as far is getting the team together at the start of the year.

"Those were very positive things because we made them into that. Like I said it can go either way. You can make it a positive, a negative, an excuse or a reason."

And like many fans and reporters, Ference sees plenty of reason for optimism in this upcoming season's Bruins squad. But Andrew also said that, "expectations are a funny thing.

"You’re the players, you’re the professional, you’re the athlete. It is your life and it’s your career. You should have higher expectations then anybody," Ference explained. "I think that should be more of the focus.

"If you hear someone complaining about high expectations from a coach or a GM I’d really start to questions what that guy has got when the chips are down. I think that you can let that be an excuse, but I think it shows the sign of your character."

As for the character of the 2010-11, Ference thinks that the tone will be set early.

"Going into this year, [as far as] my expectations...I want to be a part of the one team that’s happy and obviously to do that you have to have that consistency. You have to continue to build through out the year. You can’t expect to be at the top of your game right out of training camp but you better string some games together.

"You're working towards perfection," added the veteran. "You’re building towards it to constantly get better and stronger together [and earn] the points early to make life easier on you and keep the foot on the right pedal."

Back to Boston
1st NHL goal was Nov. 13, 1999 with Pittsburgh against Nashville
2 daughters, Ava and Stella
3 NHL Teams (Pittsburgh, Calgary, Boston)
5'11 height
13 Tattoos
21 number with Boston
24 NHL goals
117 NHL assists
141 NHL points
189 pounds
208th overall pick by Pittsburgh in 1997 NHL Entry Draft
570 NHL regular season games
1999 World Junior Silver Medal for Canada
2002 NHL YoungStars Game
2007 Traded to Bruins
." -Ference by the Numbers
Despite being busy with his workouts, Ference said this summer as been full of fun for his daughters and wife Krista.

"Yeah, [Ava] is five-years old now and [Stella] is 16 months so it’s awesome. It’s been a really great summer," said Ference. "I get the workouts done in the morning and then pretty much have to whole afternoon to be [outdoors] here in B.C.

"You know you’re pretty much outside 90% of the time, which is great up here. It’s awesome."

But for the Ference family, Boston is pretty awesome, too.

"My oldest daughter is going into a new school, kindergarten, this year. We’ll be back in the area a little earlier this year and it’s kind of neat when your kids start going to school," he said. "You feel like part of the community and you got great family friends.

"I just had a buddy come up here for a week in Boston, a guy from the North End. It was just awesome hanging out with people that are really great friends away from hockey.

"As much as it’s nice being up here on vacation mode, I think the whole family is excited to get back to Boston and get back to city life and the way we do things are there."

Ference had a little trouble narrowing down the best things about his adopted hometown. But much of what he said focused on the North End.

"Well my favorite thing is just my neighborhood," he said. "Walking around and picking up my coffee and doing my little round of getting my stuff from the little shops and stuff.

"It takes a couple hours because you’re having conversations the whole way with people you know and run into and people at the shops you’re hanging out with. You know just that kind of personal level of feeling like you’re part of a community and to a greater extent I think that in a lot of different parts of Boston I’ve met way more people in that city then any other city I’ve ever lived.

"Cities and towns are really kind of split into two camps," explained Ference. "I think there are cities that look you in the eye and don’t think you’re crazy if you say hello and then there are cities where you look at someone in the eye and say hello or good morning they look at you like you’re nuts.

"I think Boston falls into the better category."


"Back home people ask me what it’s like living in Boston and I think it’s just one of those cities that isn’t a cookie cutter," said Ference. "It has got character. It has original things. It’s not just full of the same thing that every other city has.

"It’s different and you get to walk around and meet interesting people and it’s wonderful...[because] I hate cities that are... just the same as every other city and they all follow the same blueprint.

"Boston is not one of those cities and it’s awesome. I love it."
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