BOSTON, MA - Defenseman Andrew Ference was back skating at TD Garden on Monday morning.
The veteran has been sidelined from game action since last playing in Game Five against Toronto in the first round on May 10.
The Bruins collectively stayed off the ice for the second straight day and did not hold practice following their series win, before ramping back up for their Eastern Conference Finals match-up with Pittsburgh. They'll return to the ice Tuesday morning in Wilmington.
Ference was joined by Jaromir Jagr, Jay Pandolfo and Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides, who all took to the ice on Memorial Day and worked their way through drills.
B's bench boss Claude Julien addressed the media from the Garden, and gave an update on Ference's condition.
"I think he skated yesterday, or maybe even the day before. He’s skated a few days here, so he’s obviously on the mend," said Julien. "But not ready to say he’s ready to go here."
With Ference back skating, Dennis Seidenberg's insertion back into the lineup and Redden progressing as well, once again, Coach Julien may be faced with decisions on the back end, despite the surge in play by the 22-year-old Torey Krug and 24-year-old Matt Bartkowski.
"A lot. That’s all I’m going to say. A lot goes into it," said Julien Monday, when asked about what goes into that decision-making process.
"At one point you make a decision, and that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy one, because it’s not. But we’ll deal with it when the time comes, we did it with [Dennis] Seidenberg. If [Andrew] Ference becomes available, we’ll have to deal with that, too."
Bruins Resting Up
There was a time back in March and April of the regular season, when the Bruins often played three games in four days, and only saw a two-day time period without a game just once in those two months.
So, now, to finish out their series in five games and be able to get a few days rest, as the Western Conference teams battle for the final two spots on their side of the states, is huge.
"The rest is obviously important. We’ve been through a grueling schedule there for quite a while," said Coach Julien. "To have that opportunity is good. We’ll still have lots of time to practice, but this time of year rest is extremely important. Everybody needs the rest. It’s good for the whole team."
The rest and brief time away from the rink is important, and when Julien was asked if he'd be making sure to take time on this Memorial Day, he said "Yeah, exactly, I think that's what we've done."
"We’ve come in here early this morning to get things going, but I want the coaching staff and everybody to be gone by mid-afternoon here. We’ve got a couple of days of good practice at least to get ourselves ready, so let’s not lose track of what goes on around us in life, too - that’s just as important."
Coach knows that his club will more than focused when they get back to the rink on Tuesday for practice.
"I thought two days was a good thing because we’ll have at least a couple of days - Tuesday, Wednesday - to practice. This time of year there’s not a ton of things you can do with your team more than get them some rest and still have a couple of days to accomplish a lot," said Julien.
"I keep repeating, with the regular season schedule that we ended with and a seven-game series and the way the playoffs have gone, I think it was important for our guys to just get two days off and then come back and try to be as fresh as we can for the next series."