There has been a series of changes
Not same Lightning that Ference faced
One of the signature moments from the 2004 Stanley Cup finals was the Lightning’s Vincent Lecavalier going toe-to-toe with the Flames’ Jarome Iginla in a superstar scrap. From his position on the Calgary bench, Andrew Ference enjoyed one of the best views of the multimillion-dollar throwdown.
“We fought every single time we lost that year in Calgary,’’ Ference recalled. “If we were losing a game, there’d be four or five fights. Just the way we played. I think we were in one of the first fights in the finals in a few years. We had a few. I fought [Cory] Stillman. [Iginla] fought Lecavalier. We had another four or five, I’d guess. Every time we lost, we’d end up having a few fights. [Iginla] led the way, too. He didn’t mind dropping the gloves.’’
Of the Lightning Ference played against — and lost to — in 2004, only two remain: Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. Pavel Kubina was also on the Cup-winning Tampa Bay club, but the defenseman is out indefinitely because of a head injury.
That year, St. Louis was the No. 2 playoff scorer with nine goals and 15 assists, trailing only then-teammate Brad Richards (12-14—26). Lecavalier put up a 9-7—16 line. Iginla led the Flames with 13 goals and nine assists. In 26 playoff games, Ference averaged 24 minutes 13 seconds of ice time, third-most on the team behind Robyn Regehr and Jordan Leopold.
Ference is one of five 2003-04 Flames that would play in Boston for general manager Peter Chiarelli. The other four were Shean Donovan, Stephane Yelle, Chuck Kobasew, and Steve Montador.
Ference recalled that then-coach Darryl Sutter often rolled out Regehr, Calgary’s ace shutdown defenseman, against St. Louis and Lecavalier. This year’s equivalent will be Zdeno Chara. It’s yet to be determined whether the Boston strongman will see most of his minutes against St. Louis and Steven Stamkos or Lecavalier and Simon Gagne.
While Tampa’s personnel may have changed since 2004, St. Louis and Lecavalier remain as the Lightning’s dual engines.
“You have to play your best defensemen against them,’’ Ference said. “Try and play them hard.’’
Bergeron still sidelined As of yesterday, Patrice Bergeron had yet to resume physical activity. Bergeron suffered a concussion last Friday in the third period of Game 4 against Philadelphia when he was thumped by Claude Giroux. Bergeron will be unavailable for at least the start of the Eastern Conference finals.
“All I can say is he keeps progressing on a daily basis,’’ coach Claude Julien said. “He hasn’t been on the ice, hasn’t done any of that stuff yet. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that things will start being clear and more optimistic here as we keep moving forward.’’
In practice yesterday at TD Garden, Chris Kelly remained in Bergeron’s spot on the No. 2 line between Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi. Tyler Seguin was the right wing on the third line with Michael Ryder and Rich Peverley.
PK for Krejci? David Krejci had been one of the team’s most offensive-minded penalty-killers. For most of the last three seasons, he was paired with good friend Blake Wheeler. Together, they were good for at least one shorthanded scoring chance per game.
But with Wheeler shipped off to Atlanta and the Bruins featuring a wealth of able penalty-killers (Bergeron, Marchand, Kelly, Peverley, Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille), Julien pulled Krejci from PK duties. In theory, Krejci could rest during kills. Then, once the kill is complete, Julien could counter with Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Nathan Horton in five-on-five play.
Now, because of Bergeron’s injury, Krejci might be attending pregame PK meetings again.
“We may have to use David on the penalty kill,’’ Julien said. “That’s the thing you have to adjust with. Mark Recchi has been able to bail us out too in regards to that. We’re going to have to utilize certain guys. Depending on how many penalties we get too, Paille and Campbell can almost double-shift. They can start it, get a rest, go back out there again, and maybe do a little bit more. We’re going to try and utilize our personnel the best we can in regards to that and make sure the penalty kill stays good.’’
Kampfer improving Steven Kampfer participated fully in practice. Kampfer, who suffered a right knee injury April 9, was partnered with Shane Hnidy. “We’re still cautious with that injury,’’ Julien said. “But it’s gone far enough that he’s capable of handling some contact and some battles. Conditioning is probably the main thing right now with him.’’ . . . The Lightning will practice this afternoon at TD Garden. They will have had 10 days off between games.