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Bruins Player Report Cards 2010-2011: Andrew Ference

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Grade: A-

I've had a theory on Andrew Ference the past few years: the Bruins are a much better team with him in the lineup. Doing a little calculation, I found that they were 11-14-6 without him in 2009-2010. They were 6-3-3 without him this year.

Ference played 70 games this season, surpassing many B's fans expectations but not enough to make Phunwin a vegetarian. He was a +22 on the season, good for 7th on the team, and was 4th in overall GVT among B's defensemen and 3rd in defensive GVT (at least up until March 7th, as far as Behind the Net was updated).

Ference led B's defensemen in goals with four in the playoffs, and was a +10. He played error-free for the most part, and being paired with Johnny Boychuk certainly did not help him in the playoffs.

Ference gets a boost because of his intangibles as well. He took a lot of heat for speaking out about Daniel Paille's hit to the head of Dallas' Raymond Sawada, but I really admired it and I think it went over fine in the room. His goal against Montreal in Game 3, and middle finger to the Habs crowd, rallied the team from a low point. His play on the ice and presence in the room has him in line for the "A" vacated by Mark Recchi.

He gets an A- from me. He stayed healthy for most of the year, and stepped up into a leadership role on the team. He was a reliable presence on the blue line in the playoffs. And he flipped off the Bell Centre. He probably deserves an A just for that.