The Bruins road trip to western Canada this week is like a homecoming for Andrew Ference.
“It’s really exciting,” said the Edmonton native.
While Ference hasn’t lived in the area since he was 16, when he began playing junior hockey, he said there’s still a lot of family in the area.
The defensemen currently lives in British Columbia and has friends in Vancouver – stop two of the trip tomorrow night – and spent four seasons with the Calgary Flames – game number three of the week – before being traded to the Bruins during the 2006-2007 season.
“I kind of get a three-banger here,” he said. “I like these games.”
It’s even more exciting that his family and friends will get to watch his current team play when they’re coming off a big win at home, last Saturday’s 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.
“We didn’t play the best game ever, but we kind of dug ourselves out of a first period funk that we got in, and there was a lot to take from that,” said Ference, adding that the team would have to work hard during these three games to keep progressing to the level they need to be at.
“But it’s definitely a huge benefit to come out with positive feelings…instead of being down on ourselves for a whole day [off]…especially going into a road trip,” he said. The Black & Gold had some time to rest on Sunday, as there was no practice before the team boarded their plane that afternoon.
For the veterans of the team, like Ference, they also can take some motivation from the performance of the younger Bruins, who have been contributing heavily to the team’s success, more so than on other NHL teams.
“We don’t treat them like the rookies,” he said. “We treat them like they’re supposed to be big contributors to our success.
“Some teams, you have guys their age just praying to God they don’t get sent down to the juniors.
“They’re supposed to bring the legs and the jump every night,” Ference said.
But, he cautioned, the veterans shouldn’t rely on the youngest players to get them moving.
“You can appreciate it, and you can expect it, and stuff like that, but it shouldn’t be your sole source of motivation,” he said.