Bruins: Gregory Campbell
Fittingly enough on Friday, the Bruins announced the veteran forward has been selected as this season's team nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Already a fan favorite in Boston for helping the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011, Campbell reached iconic status last spring when he shattered his right leg blocking a slap shot during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins on June 5 at TD Garden.
Campbell remained on the ice for more than a minute, while helping the Bruins kill a penalty. The injury ended his season and he was forced to watch the Stanley Cup finals as a fan. He had surgery to insert a plate and six screws to help the bone heal.
During the summer, he worked hard and wanted to be cleared to play in the 2013-2014 season-opener, which he was able to accomplish. Despite a slow start, he's played in all 78 games this season.
"Well, I guess it made me realize how lucky I am to play and to be a part of this league and this team," Campbell said prior to Saturday's 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. "The toughest part of the injury was missing games in the playoffs and not having a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. I'm very fortunate I was able to come back and realize that your health is extremely precious, so I'm grateful I've been able to play all the games this year."
Added Campbell, "I'm very thankful for the recognition of what it takes to come back from an injury. It's not an easy thing and it's something that we all sign up for when we play hockey is the risk of having an injury. But having said that, when I look at the list of past and present nominees and winners, there's been a lot of inspiring and courageous people that have been nominated and won this award. I feel like there's been far greater challenges that these guys have overcome, so a broken leg to me isn't much. So, I guess in that sense, I don't think I'm really deserving of the award. I'm very grateful for the nomination, like I said, there's a whole long list of people that have shown a lot of courage over the years. I'll take it and move on."
More important than the perseverance aspect of the Masterton Trophy for Campbell is the sportsmanship component. He's never been afraid to drop the gloves, or sacrifice his body in order to help the Bruins win and that's something he takes pride in.
"Well, I've always been really appreciative of the way this team is built and played, so when I came to Boston I've made a career on doing little things and sacrificing my body for the greater good of the team. I was really excited to come here because I knew it was a team-first mentality, so I'm just trying to fit in and there's nothing special about my game, just working hard and following the number of leaders we have on this team. I've grown up in hockey and I've seen a lot of guys over the years and the success that they've had just because they've worked hard and sacrificed themselves and really tried to do anything they can to win, so I kind of want to model myself after the role models I had growing up and not really make it about me but make it about the team."
BOSTON -- Being perennial Stanley Cup contenders, the Boston Bruins always expect to get their opponent's best game, taking it as a compliment that other teams respect their abilities.
Whatever the Bruins have accomplished in the past means absolutely nothing right now.
Prior to the recent Olympic break, the Bruins were 8-1-2 and playing their best stretch of hockey this season. Since returning, Boston is 0-1-1 and showing the rust that comes with a two-week hiatus.
After dropping a 4-2 decision to the Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden, the Bruins can take solace in the fact they have 23 games remaining in the regulation season to fine-tune their play before the Stanley Cup playoffs arrive.
Before Saturday's game, Capitals coach Adam Oates held a meeting and told his team not to be in awe of the Bruins, especially not in this building. He told his players the Bruins are a team that can be defeated on their home ice, and Washington took advantage of Boston's miscues en route to victory.
After the game, Bruins players were disappointed in their effort and were saying all the right things, knowing their game needs to be better, especially against a team like the Capitals, who are fighting for a playoff spot.
"I know this team well enough, and they're not going to hang their heads and say, 'Well, it's because of this or because of that.' We've always taken responsibility for our actions, and that's not going to change," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "They all know in there that we have to work and compete a little harder. The emotion of our game has to be a little bit better."
"That's not good enough for us," he said after the game. "A lot of that is putting more emotion into your game, and we need to pick it up and get better." Boston needs to bring a physical presence that frightens its opponents. The Bruins showed a little bit of bite on Saturday, erasing a three-goal deficit to cut Washington's lead to one goal in the second period, but it wasn't enough.
Reputation goes a long way in this game. The Bruins are one of the toughest teams in the league and one of the more difficult teams to play at home. It simply wasn't there on Saturday. At least the Bruins know that level exists, because they've reached it consistently in the past, which is something they take pride in.
"It's the level we expect of ourselves, the standard that's expected of us," Bruins forward Gregory Campbell said. "It's not really hard and that's what's expected when you play on this team -- to compete like that every night. Before the break, we were playing some pretty good hockey, so now it's up to us to find our game again."
The Bruins have uncharacteristically allowed nine goals in the past two games. A team built on defense needs to be better.
"It's got to be better. It's going to get better every day," Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask said. "It doesn't matter if we keep talking about it. Today was pretty crappy again, just mental mistakes. You talk about certain things in their power play, you just give them those opportunities and breakaways and stuff like that. It's just not our style. So we just have to be better."
Due to the condensed schedule this month, the Bruins have a total of 17 games in March, including six pairs of back-to-backs. For the Bruins to be successful in this demanding stretch, it's critical for Julien to be able to roll four lines each game.
"We should know that these last 20-plus games are going to be very intense," Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said. "Every opponent is going to play their best, so we should definitely be up for these games and be better. We need contributions from every line. You can't be relying on one line or two lines every time. You've just got to be able to get production from other guys."
Since the Bruins are atop the Atlantic Division, sit second in the Eastern Conference behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and have reached the Stanley Cup finals in two of the past three seasons, opponents are motivated to knock Boston off its pedestal. And when the Bruins feel that pressure, they need to fight back.
"We know how good we can be, and this definitely is not that," Rask said of the team's past two games. "It doesn't matter if we get players [at the trade deadline] or don't get players. We still play a certain system, and this -- you saw today the mental errors cost us again. That's all. We just have to be better mentally."
In fact, his previous goal came on April 10, 2013 at New Jersey. After he suffered a broken leg in the Eastern Conference finals last spring, he was able to return in time for training camp, but once the regular season began it took him a while to get going.
The Bruins took an early 1-0 lead on Campbell's first goal of the season at 18:20 of the first period. Boston's energy line has been playing well of late and producing offensively. Campbell was buzzing in the first period and it seemed like only a matter of time before he notched one. His shot from the slot barely snuck in off the right post to beat St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak.
"It is nice to get on the board. It's been a long time coming," he said. "And I guess yeah, it was a relief and it came at a good time for our team. Scoring goals and contributing offensively is one thing, but it's also another thing if it's when it's needed. I think that's what's expected of our team is to have different lines, different individuals step up on different nights. And it was a good feeling to get that one out of the way."
The last thing Campbell wants to do is blame his slow start on his injury from a season ago.
"I've honestly tried to move on, and whether it's an issue or not it's just about me feeling comfortable and getting back to my game and contributing all over the ice," he said. "So again, I've never looked at it as an excuse. It was an injury that I had to deal with and I'm trying to deal with it the best I can. But I'm feeling better lately."
After surgery and a lengthy summer rehab, Campbell arrived at camp ready to play. His right leg is not completely healed but he showed no ill effects Thursday night.
“You’d like to be on the winning side of things, of course, as far as my body goes, I felt pretty good,” Campbell said. “I was far from perfect but there’s a foundation there to build on and I didn’t necessarily feel out of place. It’s been a long couple of months and I’m just grateful to be back on the ice.”
It’s obvious Campbell does not want to think or discuss what happened last June. He did appreciate the reception he received from the fans once he stepped onto the ice for the first time Thursday. But he’s focused on this season.
“It’s time to turn the page. Last season’s over and the injury is over. I have to help this team win. The most important thing for me is to be ready for the season.”
At some point, he’ll have to block a shot because that’s what he does. He admitted after the game that he’ll be thinking about the injury, but he’s ready to move past it.
It was unwarranted given that Malcolm Subban, who was in net for the Bruins, was in his first full preseason game. The rookie and former first-round pick (24th overall in 2012) received plenty of encouragement from coach Claude Julien after the game despite the tough performance.
Subban made his debut Monday in Montreal, playing the final 30 minutes against the Canadiens, and earned the win with his 12-save performance.
Despite the number of bad goals Thursday against the Canadiens, Julien wanted Subban to fight through it and finish the game.
“This is a good learning thing for a goaltender,” Julien said. “This is what he’s going to be facing and he’s got to fight through these situations.”
It was evident Subban was not happy with his performance.
“No matter what I did, the puck just found its way in. Some bad bounces, but I didn’t do my part tonight,” he said.
Julien didn’t have to explain much because Subban realizes the team he faced Thursday night is one of the best in the league with talented veterans.
“They’re a good team and it can only get better from here. I’m not looking at it that way. I’m looking at it a positive way,” Subban said. “It’s probably a good thing, now I can be more focused obviously and start the game better. Going down 2-0 pretty early like that didn’t help.”
The Red Wings gained a 2-0 lead in the first period. Justin Abdelkader scored a power-play goal at 5:01, before Dave McIntyre gave Detroit a two-goal advantage at 16:07 when he scored during a delayed penalty.
The Red Wings gained a 4-0 lead with a pair of second-period goals by Henrik Zetterberg (3:28) and Danny DeKeyser (9:17).
The Bruins' Jarome Iginla scored his third goal in two games when he notched Boston's first tally. He was camped out in front when a shot by Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski hit his skate and beat Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard at 11:47 of the second period.
Speaking of three goals in two games, Bruins' Nick Johnson accomplished the same feat when he made it 5-2 at 11:32 of the third period. However, that was all the offense the Bruins were able to produce.
Detroit added three more goals to pull away.
“I guess when you let in eight goals, focus probably isn’t there all the way,” Subban said. “I guess I thought I was focused, but obviously not. I’ve got to be better the next opportunity I get.”
For the first time since he shattered his right leg blocking a slap shot during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on June 5, Campbell has been cleared to return to game action and will play in a preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night at TD Garden.
Based on Thursday morning’s skate, Campbell will center Daniel Paille and Craig Cunningham.
“For us to have Soupy back creates a lot of excitement,” Paille said. “What he brings to our team in general, let alone the sacrifice he made during the playoffs, he brings so much more. Especially with his leadership, too, he’s grown into that while he’s been here. Everyone is generally happy to get him back in the lineup tonight. We’re all fortunate to see him tonight and not just waiting for the regular season.
Even though Cunningham is playing the wing Thursday, once the regular season begins on Oct. 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning it’s likely that the complete energy line of Paille, Campbell and Shawn Thornton will be intact.
“It’s not too often a fourth line sticks around together for that many years,” Paille said. “We don’t consider ourselves that way and that’s why we’ve been so successful. We look at the challenges we have in those games and we compete the guys we’re playing against every night. We’re not competing against each other, we’re competing against the other team.”
Hamilton, Krug and Bartkowski have all played well in the first week of camp and into the preseason exhibition schedule. But one of those three will serve as the healthy scratch once the season starts, so the competition should be intense and healthy.
"We don't have to spell that out to them," said Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. "I spoke openly to the group about competition. I'm really looking forward to seeing the competition at all levels, at all positions.
"Common sense would dictate right now that it would be those three guys for those two spots. They've embraced it and they've played well. I thought Dougie had a good game [Tuesday night]. He was strong on the puck and made some good plays and closed well as the game progressed. Torey and Bart, the other night in Montreal, they both played well."
Chiarelli added that no spot is guaranteed, but when asked if he would be comfortable seeing Hamilton play for the P-Bruins at some point instead of watching from press level as the healthy scratch, the GM said: "My goal is to have him in the NHL."
* With two exhibition games in the books, all four goalies have each played half of a game. Tuukka Rask and Niklas Svedberg played Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals, while Chad Johnson and Malcolm Subban played Monday at Montreal. The latter three are competing for the backup role behind Rask.
"We're all competitive and we all want to be out there," Rask said. "I haven't paid too much attention to that yet but I'm sure as the camp keeps going further and further I'll get to practice with the other goalies and see how they're doing."
Camp has been split into two groups, so Rask has been on the ice with Svedberg all week.
"I thought he made some key saves out there," Rask said of Svedberg's performance Tuesday night. "I thought he was solid."
* Bruins forward Daniel Paille did not practice Wednesday, but both Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien said it had nothing to do with hockey, simply saying Paille was ill and expected back on the ice Thursday.
* While it's a possibility Gregory Campbell could return to game action Thursday night against the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden, teammate Patrice Bergeron still needs more time, according to Julien, but the coach added it's a possibility Bergeron could play Saturday at Detroit.
* Rask's spirited temper is in midseason form. During the last drill of Wednesday's practice, he took a couple of shots up high and had a few goals scored on him. He stormed off the ice, smashed his stick into pieces against the boards and threw his gloves down the hallway. Afterward, he was fine, saying he's not a fan of the neutral zone scrimmage.
* The Bruins made their first round of cuts Wednesday afternoon. Camp invites Scott Campbell, Jack Downing, Steven Spinell and Ben Youds will join the Providence Bruins training camp, while Tyler Randell and Adam Morrison have been assigned to Providence.
Campbell suffered a broken right fibula during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins on June 5 at TD Garden. He blocked a slap shot by the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin during a Pittsburgh power play and remained on the ice for more than a minute in obvious pain to help the Bruins kill off the penalty.
Doctors had to insert a plate and six screws to help the bone heal, and those will remain in place for now. He can have them removed in the future, but if he does it won’t be until the offseason.
Bruins coach Claude Julien said Campbell would not play in a preseason game until he’s been cleared medically, but the veteran forward appears ready for action.
“There’s no question I think I’m ready,” he said. “This is preseason and this is the point of preseason to prepare. No one is expecting me to go out there and be in Stanley Cup final shape, it’s more about getting my game back and feeling comfortable. The decision will be made by the coaching staff and the training staff.”
The Bruins will host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday at TD Garden and Campbell is hoping to see his name on the roster.
"I think [Thursday’s] even a realistic possibility,” he said. “I talked to the surgeon the other day and things look good, so it’s a matter of what Claude has in store and what he wants to do with the lineup. As far as I’m concerned, I'm more than willing to play and I want to play. I want to test myself and see how I feel in a game situation.”
During Wednesday’s practice, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid collided with Campbell and he fell feet first into the boards. He quickly got up and continued the drill.
“It’s not really a concern,” Campbell said. “It’s kind of getting my balance back and feeling comfortable on my skates and feeling the weight of another player is something that will give me more confidence as time goes on. Those drills are beneficial for me. I lost my footing. It’s not so much me being worried how my leg is going to respond, it’s a matter of me feeling comfortable enough in those situations. I feel pretty good.”
A true indication of whether a player is ready to return to game action after an injury is how well he competes in battle drills. During Wednesday’s practice, Campbell showed no ill effects.
“If you can compete in those one-on-one battles and your strength is good enough, and you can do whatever you want off the ice, as soon as you get into the one-on-one battles you find out quick enough if you’re in shape,” Campbell said.
"When it comes time to play those exhibition games, it'll be a conversation again with our trainers in making sure if they're going to play that there's not a risk factor," Julien said. “Right now, I would tell you that they would not be cleared to play a game if we started today, but that might change in the upcoming days or in a week from now.”
Bergeron suffered torn rib cartilage, a broken rib on his left side, a separated right shoulder and a punctured lung that ended up collapsing and forced him to spend three days in the hospital after the Bruins lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals last June.
Campbell broke his right fibula in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against Pittsburgh when he blocked a slap shot by the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin.
The Bruins have their first of seven exhibition games Monday at Montreal against the Canadiens.
- When the Bruins hit the ice for their first official practice Thursday morning at TD Garden, Julien will get his first look at what could be the team’s lineup when the season begins on Oct. 3. The Bruins’ top line of center David Krejci and left winger Milan Lucic will welcome new linemate Jarome Iginla. Second-line center Bergeron and left winger Brad Marchand will be working with new right wing Loui Eriksson.
Julien admitted Wednesday he was pleased with the way forwards Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly meshed during the Stanley Cup finals, so it could be possible to see those two, along with a host of right-wing candidates, during training camp.
“In the real perfect world, you’ve got your top two lines, and you’d like to see them score on a regular basis. Your third line should be able to give you some secondary scoring and then your third line should also be able to give you some secondary grit that the fourth line gives you,” Julien explained. “So they're kind of, to me, caught in the middle where they give you a little bit of both, and that is what we are looking for from that line. We need more than just two lines to score. We know our fourth line has given us that, but our third line needs to give us that as well, and, at the same time, defensively and on the gritty side of the game they got to be able to give us that, too.”
That leaves the team’s energy line of Campbell and Shawn Thornton. If Paille makes the jump to the team’s third line, it will leave a spot open on the fourth line.
- Youth and depth will be a key factor for the Bruins during camp and into the season. GM Peter Chiarelli has made it known that in order for this team to win, it will need contributions from an influx of younger players. There are roster spots to be won on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice. Julien reiterated that point on Wednesday, and his advice to the prospects was simple.
“Take advantage of it,” he told them. “We’ve been clear, and it hasn’t just come from me. Peter is the one who has kind of came out and said, 'Listen, we’re going to bring some youth into our lineup, so if some guys want a spot on this hockey club, here is a good opportunity to do that right now.' And it’s open. I think we’ve got some guys on [Boston's AHL development team] Providence last year that deserve that look. We’ve got some guys who we got in some trades that are going to certainly be battling for those spots as well.”
Forwards Anthony Camara, Craig Cunningham, Jordan Caron, Matt Fraser and Reilly Smith are all in the mix.
- With a few tweaks to their roster, the Bruins and coach Julien will focus on the team’s systems play during training camp. Julien believes the team can be a little “tighter” in that area.
“Those are things we’re going to be working on and making sure that’s at the top of our list,” Julien said. “I thought that was one of the things that we could do better, and when we did it well, it gave us success but we didn’t do it on a consistent basis, so that’s one of the things we’re going to be tweaking. It’s a bunch of little things. It’s minor maybe to you guys, but to me, it’ll make some big difference in games, some of the things that we’re going to be working on.”
Julien likes consistency and chemistry, so if he likes what he sees early in camp, then expect to see those lines and special-team units remain the same.
- Earlier this week, Julien said he believed his team was ready to make amends for the way last season ended with a Game 6 loss to the Blackhawks. When asked how long it would take in order to get a feel for his team’s motivation, Julien said he already knows.
“I feel it right now,” he said. “I think our group is in the right place. I like the feeling of our hockey cub right now. These tests today just kind of solidified what I thought. Guys are in great shape, and it would have been easier for guys after finishing so late to just kind of shut it down for the summer, but they’ve kept themselves in great shape and they look excited to get off to a new start here.”
- With the disappointing ending to the 2012-13 season in the books, Julien and his players are looking forward to a fresh start. There are some new faces in the mix, and with the Stanley Cup-winning core from 2011 intact, this should be another successful season in Boston.
“I think it's important every once and a while to get some fresh faces in and continue to create that excitement of being competitive and wanting to win every year,” Julien said. “Things can get stale after a while. That's a known fact. And I think what we've done right now is kept our core together; we got some great leaders, a great core group of guys, and we've added some quality people in there, too. But also we've left room for some guys to come in and win themselves a spot.”
Now, it’s ice time as the first practice will be held Thursday at the Garden.
Campbell suffered a broken right fibula during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins on June 5 at TD Garden. He blocked a slap shot from the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin during a Pittsburgh power play in the second period of a 2-1 double-overtime victory.
With training camp beginning on Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena, Campbell will be able to participate in drills but says he still feels some discomfort.
“I’m going to feel it for a while,” he said. “If you’ve ever had a broken bone, I guess there’s a certain time frame where it’s expected to be fully healed but there are weeks and months after that you still feel the break. That’s where I’m at right now. I’m still going to feel it and I fully expect to feel it for a while now. As much as I can protect the area and make it as comfortable as possible, there’s still going to be some pain there that I’m going to have to live through.”
Campbell had a plate and screws inserted into his right leg to help the healing process. He said it took a while to get used to skating with the new hardware.
“That was something I initially felt and was a little bit surprised that I could feel it,” he said. “I guess it would be naive of me to think that I wouldn’t feel the screws and the plate when there was something rubbing against it.”
He’s been able to get used to it a little bit, but added there may be a possibility to have the screws surgically removed after the season is over.
“I’m hoping not to have it, but if that were the case then I’m sure it would be after the season next summer,” Campbell said.
Either way, he’s focused on the upcoming season and is thrilled to be back on the ice less than three months after he suffered the injury.
“I’m excited I’m back with the team and back on the ice,” Campbell said. “It’s a tough thing to sit out and watch the team play, so for me, it was a short summer but having said that, it was pretty difficult not being able to have my daily routine. I’m just happy to be participating with the team and hopefully going forward in the next couple of days I’ll feel well enough I can participate with the practices and see how that goes.”
During his summer rehab, even with a cast on his leg, Campbell attempted to work out as much as possible. Once he was given clearance to sweat, he would ride the stationary bike with one leg and tried to keep himself as fit as possible.
“Under the circumstances, I tried to watch my nutrition closely,” he said. “I knew that it would be a short offseason and I didn’t want to get behind too much.”
Admitting he’s a step behind his teammates, Campbell’s been skating as hard as he can during captain's practices.
“I’m trying to go 100 percent,” he said. “I’d say most of the guys are in top shape right now, so for me, I have to go at my own level and make sure I’m progressing in a way that’s going to benefit me in the long run. If there are things I don’t feel comfortable doing then I kind of hold back a little bit. I think I’m close. I don’t think I’m necessarily in game shape right now.”
Campbell has participated in captain’s practice three times already, and each time out he feels better. He’s added padding to his skate in order to make it more comfortable.
“When I’m off skates I barely feel it; it’s just when I put it in the skate is when that area is exposed and that’s been the most difficult,” he said.
Campbell suffered the season-ending injury blocking a slap shot by the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin on June 5 at TD Garden. Despite being in obvious pain, Campbell remained on the ice for nearly a full minute and continued to kill off a penalty. Not having Campbell available for the Stanley Cup finals against the Chicago Blackhawks hurt the Bruins’ chances to win a second title in a three-year span.
Campbell’s linemate Shawn Thornton held his annual “Putts & Punches” charity golf tournament Monday at Ferncroft Country Club and said he recently spent time with his teammate.
“He was at the house. He was in town for something and I lent him my car because he’s too cheap to rent one, so he was over the house couple of weeks ago,” Thornton said with a laugh. “He looks pretty good. He’s up, walking around and he said he’s been working out. He looks good, so I’m hoping he’s ready to go for the start of the camp.”
Training camp officially begins on Sept. 11 for the Bruins.
BOSTON -- It has been almost two weeks since Bruins forward Gregory Campbell broke his right leg blocking a shot and remained on the ice for nearly a minute to help his team kill off a power play, a gutsy display that will forever stand out in this Stanley Cup playoff run.
The injury occurred June 5 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a game the Bruins ultimately won, 2-1, in double overtime.
Campbell said that his recovery time is projected to be six to eight weeks and that he should be ready for training camp.
Just how much pain was he in after getting drilled by the Evgeni Malkin shot?
"I mean, it hurt a little bit," Campbell said Tuesday. "It was sore. But your adrenaline's going pretty good at that point. You're stuck on the ice with a couple of the best players in the world. You really don't have much time to think about anything else but trying to help out and kill a penalty."
Campbell also said that he knew something was different about the pain he was feeling, but was not certain he had a broken leg at the time.
"I've got asked that a few times: 'Did you know it was broken?' You know, I can't say with 100 percent certainty that I knew it was broken," Campbell said. "But I felt like it was a different feeling. I blocked a few shots before. This just seemed different. Then once I was able to get back to my feet, I was not positive, but fairly sure that there was something wrong. I don't have X ray vision, so I didn't know at the time that it was broken for sure. Like I said, it was a different feeling."
For Campbell, the injury itself has been easier to handle than the frustration that comes from not being able to be on the ice to help his teammates try to capture their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.
"The emotional part of it, I mean, we're in the Stanley Cup finals now, and I've been a fan of the game for as long as I can remember," said Campbell, who sported a cast and crutches Tuesday at TD Garden. "I've watched probably every Stanley Cup final there is. It's obviously tough not to play.
"But having said that, I'm extremely proud of my teammates and fortunate to be here, fortunate to have been part of the run that I was on. Now I'm cheering them on pretty loudly."
Bruins head coach Claude Julien praised Campbell for gutting out his last shift, as well as for his overall work ethic.
"Well, I think he exemplifies a lot of what we're all about," Julien said Tuesday prior to Campbell's comments. "I've said it before. We take pride in being a blue-collar team. We don't care about calling certain guys superstars on our team. We all want to be on the same level. But there's no doubt, we're happy to see him. He came in yesterday for the first time since we came back. Not only were the guys happy to see him, but they made him feel very welcome by getting on him shortly after he made his presence in the dressing room."
When asked about that, and the newfound fame he's experienced in the aftermath of his gutsy shift, Campbell instead expressed his gratitude.
"I'm not going to put myself in front of anybody else and say I'm the picture of the Bruins," Campbell said. "This Original Six organization goes back a long way. It kind of represents the city, a blue-collar, hard-working city with honest people. When I got traded to Boston, I thought it was tailor-made to my game the way this team exemplifies the heart and soul of what a hockey player should be made of. I was proud to come to this team and play hard for this team every night.
"There's 18 other guys in that room that would do the same thing, and that's what makes us successful, and makes us a hard team to play against. I'd rather be known for my play other than getting hurt. But, like I said, I just want to play hard for the team and for the players in that room."
Campbell suffered a broken right fibula in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins and did not travel to Chicago with his teammates due to surgery last Monday.
“It was good to see him this morning,” said Bruins assistant captain Andrew Ference as the team prepared for Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden. “We’re happy he gets to be in the mix. He was probably driving himself crazy sitting at home the last few days, so you just feel happy for a guy like that to get involved and just feel good to be back around the guys. It sucks to get out of the swing like that, and I’m sure he hated watching it on TV like anyone else.”
Along with Bruins forwards Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton, Campbell was a key member of the Bruins’ energy line for the past few seasons. He’s also an integral part of Boston’s penalty-killing unit.
His selfless style of play was on display when he blocked a slap shot from the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin during a power play and suffered the broken leg. Even after blocking the shot, Campbell remained on the ice for more than a minute in obvious pain and helped the Bruins kill off the penalty.
Campbell watched Game 4 of the conference finals from press level, but due to the surgery, he remained in Boston for Games 1 and 2 of the Cup finals in Chicago.
Ference knows what it’s like to be on the outside looking in. He missed the entire semifinal round against the New York Rangers with a lower-body injury before he returned for the conference finals.
“It’s easier when you’re winning,” Ference said. “It sucks watching, but if the result at the end of the day is good, it makes things a lot easier. It’s obviously a bit of frustration involved. You get to a certain point where you get on with it. If you get hurt, it’s just part of the deal. Everybody understands it comes with the territory.
“It sucks when it happens to you, but at the end of the day, what are you going to do? You wouldn’t have done anything different or anything like that, so you just get healthy and you stay positive. Having people around the room, you have to contribute something, whether it’s support to one or two guys, or in general just being a positive impact on the team. That’s what it turns into so you’re not dead weight around the room. If you’re injured or scratched, you have to contribute something.”
Paille and the rest of the team were thrilled to see Campbell hobbling into the locker room Monday morning.
“With him not being able to be around us on the road, we’re definitely going to enjoy his presence and his comments on certain parts of the game,” Paille said with a smile. “We’re all happy to see him again.”
Already a cult hero, Campbell’s stock has risen higher after his gutsy display. A local deli is thinking of naming its chicken soup after him.
“He’s such a big part of our team, and we wouldn’t be where we are right now if he wasn’t here, so it’s great to be around him again,” said Brad Marchand.
BOSTON -- While there was plenty of buzz over the Bruins' 2-1 double-overtime win against the Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, the real story at Thursday's optional skate was news that one of their heart-and-soul players, Gregory Campbell, will be out for the rest of the playoffs. Campbell broke his leg blocking an Evgeni Malkin shot in the second period.
The guts the gritty center showed in staying on the ice even after the injury to help his team kill a power play and keep the game tied at 1 was on everyone's mind.
“You get that from him every game. That's the kind of player he is,” coach Claude Julien said in his daily media briefing. “He's a real dedicated individual to his work and to his game, from off ice, to on ice, to taking care of himself, demeanor, everything else. What he did [in Game 3] surprised a lot of people but it didn't surprise us because that's just who he is, stay in there and make sure he finishes his shift. As a coach you probably wish he would have stayed down, but that's not his job.”
As Campbell remained on the ice, he actually tried to block another shot and helped chip the puck out of the zone. The capacity crowd at TD Garden began chanting, “Campbell! Campbell!” and continued as Campbell headed toward the dressing room.
Campbell's teammates appreciated his efforts and the recognition from the fans.
“It’s a thankless job and I don’t know how many people have broken a leg, but it’s not easy to stand on let alone skate around on it,” linemate Shawn Thornton said. “It takes a lot of heart to skate off on your own, and he even tried to block another one after that. So we’re blessed to have knowledgeable fans, and that’s a situation where they let it be known how they felt.”
In Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, Nathan Horton suffered a severe concussion from an Aaron Rome head shot and missed the rest of the series -- which the Bruins won in seven games, earning their first Stanley Cup in 39 years. The team used the Horton injury as a rallying call and plans to do the same with Campbell's injury.
“I think our team wants to do it for all the right reasons, and that's one of them,” Julien said of his squad rallying around Campbell. “When you see a guy go down like that and the way he went down and what he did -- what he's done for the team and what he did last night to block that shot -- the guys are going to want to rally around that. It's also got to be more than that, but he's certainly part of that equation.”
As for who will replace Campbell in the lineup and help the Bruins keep pushing toward their second Stanley Cup in three seasons, Julien wasn’t giving any hints Thursday.
“Well, we've got lots of options,” Julien said. “We'll look at it closer today and make a decision tomorrow.”
Regardless of who it might be that steps in for Campbell, the Bruins' bench boss is still confident the team can roll four lines.
“We've just got to make sure we get something out of all of our lines right now,” Julien said. “I think that's the most important thing for us, and that's where decisions are going to have to be made and how do we make it work so that we continue to have four lines.”
Thornton sees enough depth on the "taxi squad" -- or the group of reserves on call for situations such as this. As he pointed out, the Bruins have a variety of options -- from young Swedish import Carl Soderberg, who joined the team late in the season, to Kaspars Daugavins, whom the Bruins claimed off waivers near the trade deadline, to 38-year-old veteran Jay Pandolfo, who owns two Stanley Cup rings and has 131 playoff games under his belt.
“We have a lot of extra guys here,” Thornton said. “I’m not sure who’s going in, but if it happens to be 'Pando' [Pandolfo], I mean the guy has 130 playoff games and two rings. But ‘Doggy’ [Daugavins] has proven that he can play here and ‘Soder’ [Soderberg], even though he just got here, he looked good in those six or seven games that he played here. I don’t know the combinations and I’m sure I’ll find out tomorrow right around the same time you do, but it won’t change my game too much.”
Thornton knows that whoever is brought into the lineup will be physically and mentally ready. Two seasons ago, Thornton spent plenty of time on the "taxi squad."
"A couple of years ago I was with them for a few weeks, and it’s not an easy job to keep yourself game-ready just in case," Thornton said. "But they all know the playoffs is a long grind and they could be called upon anytime. I know they’ve been working hard on and off the ice, and whoever steps in, conditioning will not be an issue, that’s for sure.”
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Gregory Campbell will miss the rest of the Stanley Cup playoffs after breaking his right fibula in Wednesday night's victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Campbell suffered the injury when he blocked a slap shot from Evgeni Malkin with his right leg during a Pittsburgh power play in the second period of the 2-1 double overtime victory at TD Garden.
After blocking the shot, Campbell remained on the ice for more than a minute in obvious pain and helped the Bruins kill off the penalty.
"The guy had a [shooting] lane and he sacrificed his body and it was a great thing," Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask said after the game. "It's a bad thing he got hurt. He blocks a lot of shots and he took one for the team there and we really wanted to win this for him."
Coach Claude Julien had similar praise for Campbell.
"For what he went through, he showed a lot of guts to stay out there and to still try and play," Julien said. "Obviously it was a pretty serious injury, so that's just the kind of player he is, and it doesn't surprise me, it doesn't surprise his teammates, but certainly it shows the character of that player, and that's why we appreciate having him on our team."