VANCOUVER — It’s been seven years since Andrew Ference made his Stanley Cup Final debut for Calgary against Tampa Bay.
The Flames dropped the ’04 Final in seven games to the Lightning.
In light of that experience, however, it’s no surprise that Ference feels kind of calm heading into tonight’s Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final at the Rogers Arena against Vancouver.
“Me and Bergy went for a nice walk after breakfast and had a good talk,” said Ference this morning, referring to teammate Patrice Bergeron. “And I said ‘it’s really funny the second time around how different my mind is.’ I remember the first time, my head was just going a million miles an hour and it being busy and the nerves and stuff. I just feel really relaxed and ready to enjoy it.
“I think we have a lot of guys that are kind of of the same mindset. I think this playoffs has been good prep for the final because we’ve had a lot of emotional series – Montreal, the redemption against the Flyers and obviously the tougher series against Tampa. It was all good practice for dealing with some pretty big games.”
The Bruins scrapped their morning skate here today and opted instead for a brief meeting and then some free time. Some guys got out in the fresh air and others continues to adjust to the time change, including forward Daniel Paille.
“The only thing was the time change. I got up a little earlier but I felt great waking up and not tired at all. So that’s a good feeling,” said the winger. “And to go in today and obviously I’m wide awake.”
Any Bruins that aren’t wide awake by puck drop will have to have their hearing checked. The Rogers Arena is supposed to be one of the loudest in the league. Head coach Claude Julien said the Bell Centre in Montreal was good prep for tonight’s visit to Vancouver’s home rink.
Now it’s up to the Bruins to overcome all the obstacles and make sure Ference’s second trip to the Final has as different a feel from the first visit at the end as it’s had at the beginning.