- James Murphy, Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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BOSTON -- Injured Bruins defensemen Andrew Ference and Wade Redden skated with Jaromir Jagr at TD Garden on Monday morning as the remainder of the team rested. Coach Claude Julien said it was the second straight day in which Ference (lower body) skated but stopped short of saying he’ll be ready to play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Penguins.
“He’s skated a few days here, so he’s obviously on the mend,” Julien said of Ference, who hasn’t played since Game 5 of the conference quarterfinals series against Toronto. “But not ready to say he’s ready to go here.”
What happens, though, when Ference and/or Redden are healthy enough to play? With rookie sensation Torey Krug -- who has four goals and an assist in his first five playoff games -- and fellow rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski playing so well, how will Julien balance chemistry versus getting more experience back in the lineup?
“A lot goes into it. At one point you make a decision, and that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy one, because it’s not,” Julien said. “But we’ll deal with it when the time comes, we did it with [Dennis] Seidenberg. If Ference becomes available, we’ll have to deal with that, too.”
With the Western Conference finals matchup yet to be finalized, both the Bruins and Penguins are taking a breather as they wait to learn when their series will begin.
“The rest is obviously important. We’ve been through a grueling schedule there for quite a while. To have that opportunity is good,” Julien said. “We’ll still have lots of time to practice, but this time of year rest is extremely important. Everybody needs the rest, I guess. It’s good for the whole team.”