TORONTO -- The Boston Bruins will be without the services of defenseman Andrew Ference for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Toronto Maple Leafs Sunday at Air Canada Centre.
Ference did not make the trip here with the team and is listed as day-to-day, according to Bruins coach Claude Julien.
“He did not make the trip for the right reasons,” Julien said. “We’re heading back home tonight one way or another, so he’s day-to-day.”
Julien would not announce who would replace Ference in the lineup for Game 6.
“That’ll be a game-time decision,” the coach said. “Randy [Carlyle] doesn’t talk about his roster, I don’t talk about mine either. We’re sewn at the hip.”
A lot depends on the health of Wade Redden, who did not play during Boston’s 2-1 loss in Game 5 Friday night at TD Garden. The veteran defenseman did participate in the team’s morning skate. If Redden can play, he could be paired with Johnny Boychuk. That also would allow Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara to stay together, while Matt Bartkowski and Adam McQuaid would finish out the pairings.
However, rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton led the team’s post-skate stretch, which indicates he could be in the lineup if Redden is not available. If that’s the case, he likely would be paired with Seidenberg, with Chara-Boychuk and Bartkowski-McQuaid as the other pairings.
“A lot of game-time decisions to be made tonight, especially regarding our back end,” Julien said.
Hamilton played Game 2 while Ference served his one-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of the Maple Leafs’ Mikhail Grabovski.
The odd man out here for the Bruins is veteran Aaron Johnson. Because he’s been a healthy scratch for the majority of the season, he’s not game ready.
“It’s been tough for Aaron,” Julien said. For me, it’s about what players are allowed and not allowed to do. We would have loved to given him an opportunity to play and play in Providence (AHL) but the CBA doesn’t allow it and it’s played against him. Right now we’ve got a player who hasn’t played in a long time and it’s tough for him.”