The Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins have some time to rest before the Eastern Conference finals begin. That gap also means a little extra time to heal for players banged up in the postseason.
Andrew Ference was back on the ice Sunday and Monday after being sidelined since Game 5 of the Bruins’ first-round series with the Maple Leafs. That doesn’t mean he’s ready to jump back into the lineup, though.
“He’s skated a few days here, so he’s obviously on the mend,” coach Claude Julien said. “But not ready to say he’s ready to go here.”
Ference has been out with a lower body injury, but the B’s haven’t missed a stride thanks to the strong play of youngsters Torey Krug, a sudden scoring sensation, and Matt Bartkowski. Boston has been able to hold its own defensively despite Ference and fellow blue-liner Dennis Seidenberg missing time with injuries.
Julien said that, even when Ference does come back, it will be tough to decide who will play, just as it was tough to make the call when Seidenberg returned.
“A lot goes into it,” he said. “At one point you make a decision, and that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy one, because it’s not. … If Ference becomes available, we’ll have to deal with that, too.”
Seidenberg played just one game in the Bruins’ second-round series with the Rangers, logging 23 minutes in Saturday’s 3-1 series clincher.