Boston Bruins report cards: No. 21 Andrew Ference
Throughout the offseason, Bruins Daily will be posting daily report cards on each individual of the 2011-12, Boston Bruins.
In order of jersey number, each player will be highlighted. In today’s edition, we have number 21, Bruins defensemen Andrew Ference
Name: Andrew Ference
Weight: 189 lbs.
Contract: Unrestricted free agent after 2012-13 season
2011-12 NHL Season stats:
Regular season: 72 GP, 6-18-24, plus-9, 46 PIM, 107 SOG
Playoffs: 7 GP, 1-3-4, minus-2, 0 PIM, 18 SOG
In my honest opinion Ference is one of the most underrated defensemen in the league. He’s a top-four-defenseman that can log top-two minutes. An underrated part of his game is certainly his physical play. Ference will always take the body, take a hit to make a play, and have no problem dropping the gloves to stick up for a teammate or to try and give the boys a spark when they need one. I am no doubt a fan of No. 21.
Anthony’s Grade: B+
Coming off an impressive postseason during the Bruins’ cup run — one that might be remembered for his “unintentional bird” to Habs fans — Andrew Ference continued to impress in 2011-12. Not only were his 24 points were the second highest in his career, but Capt. Planet also continued to log a good amount of ice time averaging nearly 19 minutes a night in the regular season and a little over 22 minutes this postseason. Ference’s trade continues to pay dividends for Peter Chiarelli for a versatile defenseman, who at age 33 shows no signs of slowing down for the foreseeable future.
It was hard to top his performance last year during the Stanley Cup playoffs, but Andrew Ference was back at it during the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. Although, he was a minus two versus the Capitals, he was second on the team in points with four (one goal, three assists). Ference was a rock for the Bruins on defense in 2012 playing in 72 goals, adding six goals, 18 assists while compiling a plus nine while on the ice. His toughness and willingness to drop the gloves at any time was crucial in times when the Bruins were off to slow starts. The 33-year-old defenseman had lapses at times during the reason season, but he is as solid as they come. Not many Bruins fans knew what they were going to get in return after trading Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau in 2007, but Ference has been a pleasant surprise for the black and gold.
Chris’ Grade: B
If I said it once I said it a thousand times: If the Bruins continue to give Andrew Ference top-4 minutes he’s going to break down. I’m glad to have been proven wrong. No. 21 logged nearly 19 minutes of average ice time this past regular season (under 18 last year) and over 22 minutes in the post season (under 21 last year). With numbers like these, I never would have though Ference would have played 142-of-162 regular season games over the last two season — upping his scoring totals from 15 to 24 — while missing zero in the playoffs. Short in stature but not in fortitude, No. 21 continued to play a big game while remaining one of the more consistent, reliable blue-liners for the Bruins.
Final grade: A-
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