The 10-day Olympic break will allow the non-participating members of the Bruins to scatter and do any of number of things until they have to report back to Boston for practice Feb. 25.
Like most of us, defenseman Andrew Ference will be watching the Winter Games on television. A self-proclaimed “Olympics junky,” Ference will be watching more than just hockey. And he’ll have a vested interest in some of the events because through his wife Krista Bradford, a professional snowboarder, he knows a number of participants.
“I actually have a bet with my wife,” Ference said before departing on the break. “I’ve read a couple articles that the Chinese women are coming on strong (in snowboarding). So I have a bet that I think the Chinese women are going to surprise people. She’s sticking with her old buddies.”
One of those old buddies is snowboardcross racer Maelle Ricker. The Vancouver native finished fourth at the ’06 Olympics in Turin, Italy, and was fourth at the ’09 World Championship.
“She has a good chance to finally get, hopefully, a gold,” Ference said. “She’s been at it for years and she’s had so many injuries and surgeries. I can’t even believe she’s still with it. So I’m crossing my fingers for her too.”
Ference won’t limit his viewing to just events he has friends in, but those are the ones he’ll really be on the edge of his couch for.
“It’s like watching hockey,” he said “When you know people, it’s a lot more vested interest and we’ve got some friends that are skiers as well, and cross-country skiers. It’s great; it’s awesome to watch.”
Forward Milan Lucic, a Vancouver native, is hoping to get a firsthand look at the events. His plan is to get a ticket and take in some events.
“I’m just going to go over there and check it out. I have nothing planned for any events I’m going to go see, but I want to see what it’s all like there and all the festivities and stuff like that,” said Lucic, who mentioned moguls and speedskating as two he would really like to see.
Some other Bruins will be in search of some warmer weather for the break, including a handful that decided to stay back in Florida after Saturday night’s game.
With the Bruins playing much better recently, winning four straight, the Olympic break might have arrived at an unfortunate time. But at least the players are going to make the most of the time off.