Ference ready to jump in coming off suspension

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Ference ready to jump in coming off suspension

WILMINGTON, Mass. Andrew Ference is coming off the first suspension of his 12-year NHL career, but dont expect the defenseman to change anything about his game heading into Thursday nights game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Ference is experienced enough to realize that things simply happen sometimes in the game of hockey, and that was the case in the collision with New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh that led to his initial suspension. When asked by particularly persnickety reporter if he was concerned about a besmirched reputation or becoming a repeat offender, Ference had the line of the day.

I dont have to register in my neighborhood, so I think its all right, shot back Ference. That type of play happens a lot over the course of the game. It doesnt usually result in a guy falling and its a little lower speed. The next time I guess Ill get the puck and score. You try to let up as much as possible and not plaster them into the boards.

The Bs defenseman hasnt played since the Jan. 21 game that resulted in his three-game suspension for boarding McDonagh, but didnt see a lot of benefit to getting a rare 10-day break into the middle of the hockey season.

This would have been like having an Olympic break during those particular years, and if youre injured or banged up then its the greatest thing in the world, said Ference. But if its not then youd rather not take any break at all. Ive been healthy this season, so its best not to take breaks.

Claude Julien took a more serious tack to the line of questioning, and pointed to Ferences levelheaded veteran approach as the biggest reason those factors wont weigh heavily in his mind. After all, Ference managed to go nearly 800 games before his first NHL suspension, so chances are there wont be another one anytime soon.

Anybody coming back is going to be a welcomed addition. Hes an experience player thats had a really good year for us. Hes as steady as we could have asked for, so were happy to have him back especially with the situation McQuaid is in right now, said Julien. The page has been turned with the suspension. Sometimes things happen in the game. It doesnt mean that its meant or that its dirty. Its a fast-paced game and sometimes you dont have time to react properly.

Its something you getter yourself at, but its not something that you dwell on. Hes a pretty respectful player. Hes going to be fine, hes always been in great shape and a guy thats been around the league for a long time doesnt let things like that rattle him.

Its a case of good timing for the Bruins, as it appears Adam McQuaids status might be up in the air after suffering a lower-body injury Tuesday night, but a refreshed and recharged Ference will step back into the six-pack of Bs blueliners.

Ferences presence has been missed from a defensive standpoint, and his efforts should help the club reach the consistency thats eluded them for pretty much all of January.

Its a new month, Ference is back and its time for the Bruins to turn the dial back up.

Report: Celtics fail to make trade at deadline

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Report: Celtics fail to make trade at deadline

At first, hopes for a superstar coming to Boston were dashed . . . 

And then, hopes of anyone coming to Boston were dashed . . . 

Of course, is this is true, the breakdown of the George talks isn't such a bad thing:

More to come . . . 

Avery Bradley returns to practice, but injury status remains uncertain

Avery Bradley returns to practice, but injury status remains uncertain

Avery Bradley was back on the practice floor after missing the Celtics' past 16 games, but it's unclear if he'll travel to Toronto for Friday night's game.

Boston Celtics, Avery Bradley, Jaylen Brown, Brad Stevens, Toronto Raptors, A. Sherrod Blakely 
 
WALTHAM, Mass. – Avery Bradley was back on the practice floor briefly at the first gathering of the Celtics since the All-Star break.
 
Now returning to the floor in an actual game? That remains a bit up in the air.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday, adding that his status for the Friday night game at Toronto remains unclear.
 
“Avery practiced about a third of the practice today which was about what our medical staff determined was the appropriate progression,” Stevens said. “He [Bradley] told me afterwards he felt really good.”
 
As far as his availability for Friday, Stevens said he did not have an update and was not told by the medical staff whether Bradley would be traveling with the team to Toronto when they leave later this afternoon.
 
Bradley is dealing with a right Achilles' injury that has kept him sidelined for the past 16 games and 20 of the past 21.
 
The news is much better when it comes to the health of Jaylen Brown.
 
Brown missed the past three games, but said he was feeling better and would be traveling with the team to Toronto.
 
“I’m looking to play in Toronto,” he said.
 
The return of Brown can only help a Celtics team that’s looking to pick up where they left off prior to the break.
 
Boston’s ascension to the No. 2 spot in the East has been fueled by wins in 11 of the past 13 games.
 
Despite that success, Stevens knows all too well that a roster change of some sort could go down at any minute prior to today’s 3 p.m . trade deadline.
 
“When you’re in position where you’re playing at a pretty good level, you don’t anticipate much change,” Stevens said. “But certainly there could be small things; there may not be. At the end of the day, my job is to try and focus on the 15 guys that are here.”