Ference explains how effort, emotion are connected

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Ference explains how effort, emotion are connected

Pretty good stuff from Andrew Ference in his first couple of blog posts for the Good Men Project website over the last month.

In the first entry the Bs defenseman detailed accountability and admitted publicly that he fibbed after flashing the middle finger at Canadiens hockey fans during the playoffs two seasons ago because he was concerned about a potential suspension. This time around Ference talks about the value of hard work and sometimes taking the long road toward a goal something captured by New Hampshire poet Robert Frost as the Road Less Traveled.

The veteran Bruins blueliner said the value of hard work was something always instilled in him by his father, but it finally hit him like a thunderous right cross while playing for the Calgary Flames when he lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

That loss in 2004 was offset by finally winning with the Bruins in 2011, but the life lessons involved both in winning and losing are something thats stayed with Ference more than anything else:

Hockey has dictated my diet, education, friends, homes and health for my entire life. With that kind of emotional and time investment it is surprising that I couldnt figure out why I was crying like a little kid in my locker room after losing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to Tampa Bay in 2004.It was the first time in my adult life that I could literally not control myself or my emotions. As I babbled something to my coach when he came around to comfort us he cleared things up for me by saying, It hurts so much because you care and because you have worked so hard.Pretty simple in hindsight but that has really stuck with me ever since. Being so close to a lifetime goal and not achieving it is the strongest emotion I have ever felt. It haunted me with countless thoughts of, What if?, and stayed with me until I won the Cup 7 years later with the Bruins.In life we dont always get a second chance to change a failure into a success and get redemption but I dont think life is all about the good experiences, it is about the powerful ones, the kind that are only experienced through a build up and a commitment to attempting something difficult.
While Ference still has a year left on his contract with the Bruins and appears to have plenty left to give the team for which he served as assistant captain last season, there might be a future in writing for the thoughtful defenseman someday.

But given his clear passion for playing hockey, Ference shouldnt be in any rush to become the first NHLblogging crossover superstar.

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

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McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.