BOSTON -- As the Boston Bruins were getting on the ice for their morning skate in preparation for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals, injured Bruins forward Gregory Campbell hobbled through the building on crutches and sporting a cast from his right knee to his toes.
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.