Bruins forward Gregory Campbell continues to show that he was not merely a throw-in in last June's trade that brought Campbell and Nathan Horton to Boston in exchange for Dennis Wideman and a first-round draft pick. Horton's goal-scoring and physical prowess were an important part of the deal with Florida, but Campbell, who after a two-goal effort Thursday in a 7-0 win over Montreal has 12 goals and 25 points, has proven he can score some big goals himself.
Those two goals came in arguably the Bruins' biggest game of the season as Campbell and his teammates shined in the spotlight. Campbell is more known for his defensive style and penalty-killing skills, but his all-around game has been a bright spot on a dependable fourth line that consists of Campbell, Shawn Thornton and Claude Julien's wing of the night.
"Soupy [Campbell] I think is one of the more underrated guys in this league to tell you the truth," said Thornton. "I don't think he gets enough respect around."
Thornton said Campbell's true value should be measured in the type of teammate he is. While Campbell's two goals, particularly the 5-on-3 short-hander he scored to make it 7-0, were appreciated, his mates took note of what he did for Mark Recchi, who earlier in the second period had been cross-checked numerous times in the head by Habs defenseman Paul Mara. Minutes later, Campbell went after Mara and dropped the gloves with the much bigger rear guard."
"Never mind the two goals, he took it upon himself to settle something that happened with [Recchi] and Mara, and he spotted him about five inches and 30 pounds," Thornton said. "But he's fearless and I can't say enough good things about him as a teammate. He's a great friend and a great teammate."
Coach Claude Julien made sure to credit Campbell for a rare 5-on-3 strike.
"It was really rewarding for the guy that scored it," Julien said. "He's a hard worker and he's a dedicated player, and I thought he made a great play of cutting that pass off and using his speed to go in there. It was a really nice shot right inside the post. It was a great goal."
Campbell, who along with Horton has never played in an NHL playoff game, said Thursday's game was as close as he's gotten.
"I played playoff games in junior hockey, but unfortunately I had to watch a lot of games the past seven years," Campbell said. "It was exciting for me and Nathan to be involved in a game like this.
"These are fun games to play. We had tremendous support from our fans. It was important for us to get off to a good start and just to play. With everything that has been surrounding this game, with all the things that don't involve the actual game, it was important for us to play our game. We collectively treated it like a playoff game and rightfully so because it had that feel to it. You could tell everyone was ready."