Boston Bruins

Ference’s New Morale Booster: The Cock Shirt

315934471

Playoff Jacket, Mark I. [Photo via Fluto Shinzawa]

During the Bruins’ historic Stanley Cup chase in 2011, defenseman Andrew Ference purchased an old, ratty starter jacket emblazoned with the spoked B off eBay and began a tradition of awarding it to the hardest working teammate each night. The jacket became the symbol of the team’s camaraderie and will to win. When the mission was accomplished, the team awarded the jacket one final time to Mark Recchi, who promptly had it framed and returned to the team.

“He taught us what it meant to be champions and how to become champions,” Ference told fans in the pregame ceremony on Opening Night last year.

Last season, on the eve of the B’s ill-fated series against Washington, Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com asked Ference if he had a new token to rally behind.

“It’s about the environment that you create throughout the whole year, and if it happens this year, it happens,” Ference said. “If it’s anything forced, [it’s not the same]. That’s why teams talk about road trips, but it’s not the road trip itself, it’s the stories, the inside jokes and the stuff that happens that you can laugh about. It’s that stuff that gets you through and creates an environment for the year.”

The Bruins would lose to the Caps in Game 7, mired by an impotent power play and a stagnant offense. Sure enough, there was no jacket circling the locker room. There was a Bruins chain, but it never really caught on. Perhaps that same scrappy cohesiveness exhibited by the 2011 championship team just wasn’t there.

Fast-forward to present-day: the Bruins are two points out of first place in the Eastern Conference. Tyler Seguin has finally shaken off his Switzerland hangover and has settled nicely into his groove. Marchand is in the midst of his best year to date. The power play is starting to click. There’s finally a fire lit beneath the first line’s collective ass. Sure, the third line’s in flux. But baby, the Merlot’s a-flowin’.

Merlot for Everyone

The first half of this shortened season saw a Bruins team that never quite reached its potential. They won plenty of games, but the team struggled to produce a quality, 60-minute effort. After bottoming out in their third period meltdown against the Pens, the Bruins beat the Panthers and thoroughly dominated the Capitals. That spark may just be back, and Ference has planned according.

Meet the “Red Rooster shirt,” awarded in the same fashion as the starter jacket. Nathan Horton was the first recipient, in recognition for his Gordie Howe hat trick against Washington.

cb00b4208e7411e2996e22000a1f98fe_7

2.0 [Photo via Boston Bruins]

“It’s just something I found online and thought the guys would have some fun with it. The rooster is supposed to symbolize good luck in Europe,” Ference told CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty. “That’s why you often see a rooster in the kitchen at people’s houses.”

Whatever the rationale, let’s hope this means a more consistently dominant Bruins team in the final stretch, with one game in hand on Montreal, and three on Pittsburgh.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Advertisements

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s