Ference: Losing this season in playoffs left 'an empty feeling'

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Ference: Losing this season in playoffs left 'an empty feeling'

NEWARK, NJ In case you were wondering, losing in the playoffs does feel different after youve won the Stanley Cup.

Andrew Ference was at the Prudential Center for Game 1 as a player representative for the NHL, and spoke with CSNNE.com for a few minutes about what life has been like for the sudden stay-at-home dad since the Bruins were eliminated by the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs.

Ference has been shuttling his children to school in Boston over the last month, and even manned the tattoo booth at his daughters schools Spring Fest last week.

Dont worry, though, it was temporary tattoos for the kiddies rather than the ink work adorning much of Ferences body.

Im doing everything that I havent been able to do with my kids over the last few years, said a laughing Ference. Volunteering is cool. So that was good. My wife does a lot with the school, so she has me doing a lot of stuff. Weve been going to a lot of birthday parties. Its been very domestic stuff, which is great for a family standpoint.

The family time has been welcomed, of course, and Game 1 of this years Cup Finals was the first time Ference has attended an NHL playoff game as a fan rather than a participating player.

But thats also the thing bugging the Bruins defenseman after his teams first round dismissal.

Ference knows what its like to hoist that Cup over his head now, and losing is a much different emotion post-Cup than before he knew how the other half lived.

I havent watched much hockey at all. Its worse after you win. You know what youre missing now. It sucks, said Ference. Its more of an empty feeling. Before you would always feel angry when you lose, but now its more that I just kind of feel left out. I know how good that party is and I want to be there.

If youve never done it you could dream about it, but when its reality then it really hurts. You get over the loss. You move on because you just do, but its a different feeling. Before last year you think you could have won it with that team, but once you go through the process and know what it takes to winthen its different. I know that we had the potential to win again.

The 33-year-old defenseman certainly didnt sound like he was relishing the abrupt feeling of loss after the Bruins went from Stanley Cup champs to first round victims.

But there should be plenty of motivated Boston players come September if everybody else is feeling the same way as Ference with the Cup Finals started this week without them.

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

BRIGHTON, Mass – While the NHL debut for Charlie McAvoy is a matter of “when” rather than “if” at this point after agreeing to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) with the Boston Bruins, the jury is still out on Boston University center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and University of Notre Dame winger Anders Bjork become pros. 

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney says that Forsbacka-Karlsson has yet to make a “final decision” on his status for next season after BU’s elimination from the NCAA hockey tournament, and Bjork is readying for the Frozen Four this weekend along with the rest of his Fighting Irish teammates. The 20-year-old Forsbacka-Karlsson just wrapped up his sophomore season with the Terriers and posted 14 goals and 33 points in 38 games with a plus-11 rating, and has not given the Bruins any firm word on his plans for the immediate future. 

The urgency perhaps isn’t there for the Bruins to lock things up with Forsbacka-Karlsson right this second, because he wouldn’t be a factor for this year’s NHL team. 

Meanwhile the Bruins can’t do anything with the 20-year-old Bjork until at least the end of next weekend, but have been mightily impressed with a player that’s posted 21 goals and 52 points in 38 games for Notre Dame this season. Bjork had three assists in the game that propelled Notre Dame into the Frozen Four, and there would be a great deal of urgency for the Bruins to lock up a talented forward that might be able to help them right now. 

“I’ve been able to see [Bjork] a few times including the regional [in New Hampshire] last weekend, and he was outstanding. He played every other shift, he set up goals in the game and he’s had a really nice progression as a college player this season,” said Sweeney of the explosive Notre Dame junior, who was far and away the best player at B's development camp last summer. “They’ve done a fabulous job with their team, and hopefully they get to the Finals on Saturday against Harvard, and we get the best of both worlds seeing how our prospects play in the final game. He’s had a tremendous college career to this point, and we’re excited about his development.”

McAvoy is the front-burner issue for the Bruins at this point, but it would surprise exactly nobody if both Forsbacka-Karlsson and Bjork join him in Providence in the next couple of weeks as they wrap up their AHL season.