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Bruins’ Ference not medically cleared for Eastern Conference finals

May 30, 2013, 6:05 PM EDT

Andrew Ference Getty Images

Andrew Ference won’t return to action for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday.

Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien confirmed as much after Thursday’s practice, saying the veteran defenseman still hasn’t received medical clearance to return from his undisclosed injury.

The 34-year-old hasn’t played since Game 5 of the Toronto series, but has resumed skating and was recently described as “on the mend,” by Julien.

Julien also stated that, even if Ference was healthy enough to return, there’s no guarantee he’d get in.

Young defensemen Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug have performed admirably in relief (Ference and Wade Redden missed the entire second round; Dennis Seidenberg only returned for Game 5) and could be tough to drop from the lineup.

That said, it could be hard for Boston to go without Ference’s postseason experience.

He has 110 career playoff games under his belt, appearing in two Stanley Cup finals (in ’04 with Calgary and during Boston’s 2011 championship).

  1. nunan - May 30, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    He’s been skating with the team so it’s probably not going to be that much longer until he is cleared. I also don’t think it is a bad thing to stick with the same line-up for at least a game and see what they bring, even if Ference was healthy. I do think he’ll end up in the line-up eventually though. All in all, not really that big of a deal right now.

    • gregman98 - May 30, 2013 at 10:47 PM

      I suspect this is all shadowy-business from the Bruins’ PR machine.

      Ference would indeed play if he could (and make a significant contribution), but can’t because he has a broken bone/sprained ankle/knee or the like….Boston “skated” him in practice to create the illusion of an imminent return…AIN’T HAPPENING!

      • nunan - May 30, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        It’s a nice theory, but they don’t function that way…he’s been skating for the entire week, on his own, and then joining the team’s practice. They really don’t have anything to gain from trying to play that smoke and mirrors game anyway. That sort of thing gets way more hype than it’s actually worth.

  2. mgp1219 - May 30, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    I’m glad he’s out; he sucked all regular season. He coughed up the puck so many times at the offensive blue line while playing the point which led to the other teams getting breakaways or odd man rushes. He even did it in the Toronto series on a power play which resulted in a shorty by Bozak. Leave him right where is.

  3. backhandtoedrag8 - May 30, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Shouldn’t be too much of a problem, the B’s young defenseman have been playing so well.

  4. pastabelly - May 30, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    I am a big Ference fan, but agree he had a rough season. He’s a UFA and may have played his last game as a Bruin. He had a good run in Boston.

  5. m1k3g - May 31, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    How many Eastern Conference Finals are there? Bruins-Pens is the only Eastern Conference Final I know of.

  6. hockeyflow33 - May 31, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Keep him out

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