WILMINGTON, Mass -- Injured Bruins defensemen Andrew Ference (lower body) and Wade Redden (lower body) continued to make progress and are closer to playing. Both skated with the team at practice Tuesday.
For Ference, who has skated for the last four days on his own, it was a "good sign," but it doesn't necessarily mean he'll be ready for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Penguins, according to coach Claude Julien.
The series is expected to begin Saturday night in Pittsburgh.
“It’s a good sign that he’s practicing with us,” Julien said. “I don’t know. Again, it’s a medical issue that unless the trainers say it’s a go -- sometimes he may be ready, but could be a risky kind of ready. We’ll wait and see what our trainers say and how Andrew feels, as well, before we make any decision on him.”
As for Redden, he has been skating with the team during the last few practices and game-day skates, and Julien said if the team really needs him, Redden could play.
“I think to answer that, in a pinch if we needed him, I’m sure we could use him,” Julien said.
After practice, Redden told ESPNBoston.com that he’s ready to go whenever the team decides to put him back in the lineup.
“I’m doing everything I need to now, so I’m good,” he said.
Ference was happy to be practicing again, but also happy that he got some solo work done the last four days.
“I’m skating really well,” Ference said. “It’s nice to get back on the ice and get back into a practice. The last few days on my own, it was good to get those kinds of days under my belt. The last couple of days I had great skates and today was my fifth day on the ice. So it’s been really good. It’s different when you get other guys on the ice and can actually practice, but to have four days completely on your own like a hockey school, it was really nice, and it’s rare to get that kind of ice time to do exactly what you need as an individual. So it was beneficial.”