Ference takes issue with Cherry and Milbury


Ference takes issue with Cherry and Milbury

By Mary Paoletti

WILMINGTON -- Andrew Ference laughed outright at his critics after practice on Tuesday.

"When guys like Don Cherry or Mike Milbury start making it into an issue when they've never been in our locker room -- literally, never been in our locker room -- they don't know what our locker-room dynamics are," he said. "There's absolutely no issue down here."

The defenseman was addressing the firestorm he ignited within NHL media last Thursday.

His critique of the hit that earned teammate Daniel Paille a four-game suspension in Boston's 6-3 win over Dallas was treated as treason. In their Saturday commentary for Hockey Night in Canada, Mike Milbury and Don Cherry chastised Ference for tagging Paille's check of Raymond Sawada a "bad hit," saying that the Boston blueliner should have shown solidarity with his fellow Bruin.

Milbury and Cherry said the team would be divided. According to Ference, nothing could be farther from the truth.

"We have a really good team. It's honest and open, with young guys and old guys all contributing to that. Something like that . . . " Ference shook his head and laughed. "It isn't going to tear apart a room or split us up. It's ludicrous.

"We actually all found it somewhat amusing," he continued. "We even pulled up the clips on YouTube at the Super Bowl party just to watch them because we were all having a good laugh about it. So really, it was much ado about nothing."

Ference was relaxed and matter-of-fact -- speaking just a few steps away from his locker-room neighbor, Paille. A constant in his quotes was that use of the word "we," as he stressed that this is the way they're dealing with both the suspension and the supposed controversy: As a team.

"Even Bergy Patrice Bergeron was like, 'Well, I kind of said the same thing after the game.' He had comments that were basically the same. So maybe it's a little more unique to our team just because of what we've dealt with on the receiving end."

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.

*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.  

*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.

*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.

*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.

*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.

*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.

*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.


Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game: