Eastern Conference Finals: Bruins Bruised, Not Battered
By Kristin Tullo (@K_Tullo)
Weathered faces and post-season surgeries have become the norm for NHL hockey players. A puck to the nose here, a stick to the face there, get stitched up and back out on the ice they go. Usually it comes down to their feet; if they can still skate, they can still play.
In Gregory Campbell’s situation last night, he had one working leg and that was enough to keep him on the ice for the rest of his team’s short-handed shift.
While blocking a shot on a late second period shift with his team down a skater, Campbell suffered what was reported today by ESPN Boston as a broken right fibula. He will miss the remainder of the Playoffs but he wasn’t about to miss the remainder of his shift. Unable to do much of anything, the fourth-liner stayed on the ice instead of attempting what would be a long change and ultimately give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 5-on-3 with the score tied at one apiece.
VIDEO:Gregory Campbell Breaks His Leg Blocking Shot in Game 3
Taking up as much room as he could and continuing to get in the way of shots and passes despite having just one leg to put any pressure on, he exemplified the type of player he is and what kind of guts it takes to play in the National Hockey League.
“He showed a lot of guys to stay out there and to still try and play,” Bruins’ head coach Claude Julien said of the effort he saw from Campbell despite the obvious discomfort he was feeling. “ 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 surprising his teammates, but certainly it shows the character of that player, and that’s why we appreciate having him on our team.”
Campbell eventually made his way to the bench, 50-seconds after the injury occurred, and was rewarded with an ovation of applause from the Boston fans at TD Garden as he made his way down the tunnel to the locker room.
His coach wasn’t the only person praising his effort. Patrice Bergeron who scored the game winning goal in double overtime also talked about his teammate and what he does for their club.
“It was a huge play by him,” Bergeron said after the game. “That’s the way he is. He sacrifices the body, for the better of the team.”
The Boston Bruins will have to replace Campbell’s spot on the fourth line, known as the Merlot Line, where he plays alongside with Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille. One possible candidate for the position is former-Devil and Boston raised, Jay Pandolfo. Pandolfo has not been in the lineup since April 6th when the Bruins faced Montreal. In 18-games this season, the veteran left wing was unable to score any points.
More Eastern Conference Final Stories:
Eastern Conference Finals: Pittsburgh Penguins Have a Goalie Problem, Bylsma Has His Starter
Eastern Conference Finals: Crosby, Penguins Need To Stick To Their Own Style Of Hockey in Game 2
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern Conference Finals, Bruins vs Penguins Preview
Follow Kristin on Twitter @K_Tullo