BOSTON - Nothing is ever certain in the postseason and when anything can happen and anyone can go down with an injury, depth can be a key contributing factor to a team's success.
|Ference. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) |
The Bruins have been pleased with their depth all season and heading into the postseason, Boston is nearly perfectly healthy.
On the blueline, Boston runs deep and the additions of recent call-ups Matt Bartkowski
and Steven Kampfer (who is currently sidelined with a lower body injury) only add to that depth.
, one of Boston’s stay-at-home blueliners, is another one of those players who has added to the Bruins exceptional defensive play this season.
After suffering myriad injuries over the past-few seasons, Ference played in 70 games for the Bruins this season and is feeling good as Boston begins their playoff run tonight against Montreal.
“He’s had a really good year this year. And he had just the one little setback as far as injuries are concerned, but he’s been pretty healthy this year,” Boston head coach Claude Julien said.
“That’s something that’s been beneficial for our hockey club.”
In terms of the expectations that the Bruins and their fans have for their 2011 playoff run, Ference said the ultimate goal is the Stanley Cup -- but that’s nothing new.
“I think the expectations have been high, we had a good regular season, a good solid group of guys. I think this is just a continuation of that,” Ference said.
“I think the only way that guys will be happy is to go all the way and win that Stanley Cup as your final goal. I think that’s been the goal around here for the last few years.”
The recipe a team needs to put together to make a long postseason run can be different for every team and every player.
For Ference though, he feels that individually, players need to step up.
When it comes time for the big dance, the teams that have earned themselves a spot on the postseason schedule have clearly done something right. While the systems have been worked out and the wrinkles smoothed, teams still have to put the pieces together at the right time of year.
“There are a lot of things that have to come together in the postseason, I think individually guys have to peak and be at their best. And at this point in the season, everyone has their Xs and Os down and everyone who makes the playoffs is good at that,” Ference said.
“So really I think what it boils down to is just individually guys maxing out what they got, and throw a little luck in there with injuries and what not and you can make a run.”
Players stepping up and fulfilling expectations includes taking on a leadership role on and off the ice. While Ference is a solid performer on the blueline, he’s also a steady presence in the locker room.
“He’s a guy that has got some experience, he’s been around a long time. And not only on the ice but also in the dressing room, he’s a good presence in there and he speaks well. And I think he’s a good asset to having in the dressing room as much as he is on the ice,” Julien said.
With just hours before the puck is set to drop on Boston’s 2011 Stanley Cup run, Ference knows there is only one thing left for the Bruins to do.
“Just have to throw your cards on the table and see what you have.”