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.