New B’s in the Black & Gold Hive
Wednesday, 02.14.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
By John Bishop, BostonBruins.com
Less than 24-hours after he had been traded from Calgary to Boston, Andrew Ference had a pretty typical response to the whirlwind that deposited him in the Bruins locker room.
"It's been pretty crazy," said Ference. "It's disappointing to leave a bunch of friends in Calgary.
"But talking to the guys (here) and some of the guys in Calgary (about Boston) definitely softens the blow -- (that and) getting traded to a city that is so rich in sports history and to come to a team that is scratching and clawing its way back up to have some respect in the city, and to deliver some more passion that they had during the good years."
And so, like newly recalled policeman Jeremy Reich, and the also recently acquired forwards Brandon Bochenski and Chuck Kobasew, Ference, a defenseman, is excited about his new home, his new digs, and his new uniform.
"It’s always a bit of a shock to get traded, and I didn’t know where I was going until about five minutes after," explained Ference. "But obviously when you’re traded to a storied franchise, it’s definitely a little easier to take. It’s something special to play for that kind of city and that kind of team.
He was asked about his game, shortly after he arrived.
"You are going to get a lot of hard work from me," said Ference. "I am probably evening out some of Big Z's size difference (Andrew is 5'10, 189 lbs) and I bring the average down a bit.
"But (I bring the same) work ethic, and tenacity."
And he wasn't lying.
"I thought he had an excellent first game," said Bruins head coach Dave Lewis. "He had some big time hits on one of (Edmonton's) key players, Ryan Smyth.
"He used his body really well.
"He has composure, poise…I saw a lot of that. And he won a lot of battles down low in the trenches," said Lewis.
Ference's teammate in Calgary, Chuck Kobasew, is ready to leave Canada and make his way back "home" to Boston, although visa problems have kept him north of the border for the time being.
"I’m really looking forward to it," said Kobasew, a native of Vancouver. "It is disappointing to leave Calgary, but I did play two years of my career in Boston: one at Boston College and one at Lowell in the AHL.
"I know the area very well and have always been a Bruins follower," said the former Eagle.
Kobasew, like Ference, already has friends in the locker room at the TD Banknorth Garden.
"I know a bunch of the guys," said Kobasew. "I’ve played with Shean Donovan, Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Boyes, and (Bobby Allen) who I played with at BC.
"I also had Coach John Whitesides at Boston College for strength and conditioning."
Unfortunately, even if his travel issues are cleared up, B's fans will have to wait to get a glimpse of #12. He has an injured elbow.
"It was diagnosed on January 26," said Chuck. "But I’m back skating already and it [the elbow] is feeling good. I’m just doing my rehab and I hope to be in the lineup as soon as I can."
Kobasew also thinks he will fit into the latter day version of Lunch Pail AC.
"I think of myself as a hard worker, and I like to use my speed," said the forward. "I take pride in playing hard, and I also like to score."
When asked about raised expectations and the goal-a-game pace that he has achieved in his first two four games with Boston, Bochenski was undaunted, and laughed at the question.
"What? I'm going to play so well that (everyone's) going to keep expecting that. Is that what you are saying?" he asked.
"I just wanted to come in and play well," he said. "I don't think there is anyone out there who thinks I am going to score three goals every two games.
"But I'd rather set expectations high, rather than keep them low, and then have to prove them wrong."
But, needless to say, he's relished his time with the Bruins and has already made a strong impression on the Boston fans.
"I have enjoyed it so far," said Bochenski of Boston. "I like the area. Everyone has been nice to me -- it just seems like my kind of town."
"It's an Original Six team," he said, with the usual reverence for the phrase. "And I was really just excited to be here to begin with."
Certainly, the jersey still carries a boat load of respect.
"Putting (on the B) and getting to go out there and score and play in some decent amount of minutes," he said wistfully, "it's just a lot of fun."
Bochenski had his first Bruins goal in his first Bruins game.
"I think scoring that first one can be a monkey on your back and it was good to get it out of the way in the first game," he said.
The other new forward, Jeremy Reich, knows exactly what is expected of him.
Reich's job is to create havoc. And he, like Bochenski, has also made quite an impression since he's been in the Garden. However, that impression is most likely felt "best" on the faces of his opponents.
"I think I'm an energy guy, a spark," said Reich. "Maybe get a hit, a fight, if the game is not going our way."
"It's the way I've always played.
"I don't really know how to play any way else. That's just the way I have played since I was little and I just go out there and play hard," he said.
It sounds as if Reich, and all the new B's, will fit in just fine with the Black & Gold.