BOSTON — He didn’t have much to do with either of Boston’s two goals on Wednesday night — in fact Gregory Campbell isn’t directly involved with the majority of the Bruins’ goals — but he deserves plenty of praise for the B’s 2-1 double-overtime win at TD Garden.
In a game that was controlled, for the most part, by the visiting Penguins, Campbell did what Merlot Liners do best — he sacrificed himself for the good of the team. One of the squad’s best penalty killers, Soupy was killing off a Pens’ man-up about halfway through the second period with things knotted at one goal apiece.
The B’s forward, without hesitation, slid in front of an Evgeni Malkin blast from the point, blocked it and barely came up, crippled in agony.
But he did come up.
And he stayed up — until his shift was done. And the Bruins penalty kill would eventually escape unscathed.
“People are pretty impressed with what he did,” defenseman Andrew Ference said. “You see him block that shot and then do everything he can to get in the way of the passes and whatnot. I don’t know how to describe it — you saw the next couple shifts after that and some guys got really lifted up. It’s amazing what guys can do in playoffs.”
“When you see a guy willing to do with whatever it takes to help the team and sacrifice his body, you cant help but get a little energy form it,” forward and fellow PK specialist Chris Kelly said.
Not only were the B’s clearly lifted by their comrade’s toughness, but TD Garden boomed with pride, as the crowd let out the second-loudest cheer of the night, second only to Patrice Bergeron‘s game-winner in double-OT.
“He’s a man that he does whatever the team needs, and he’s willing to sacrifice his body,” captain Zdeno Chara said. “It was an outstanding block by him and you saw that the rest of the time he spent on that kill he was willing to do whatever he could on that one leg, so this one is for him.”
Despite being available for roughly 32 minutes of a game that stretched nearly five periods, Campbell was getting praise from all corners of the B’s locker room. The merlot liner isn’t used to getting much love from the stat sheet, but his teammates always recognize what he does for this team on a nightly basis, and the fans in Boston do, too.
“There are some guys who get a lot of credit for big goals and some of the fancy plays, but people in this locker room and hockey guys watching on TV know how much respect that garners,” Ference said about Campbell’s gutsy style of play.
“[Bruins fans] know their hockey,” he added when asked about the string of thunderous “Camp-bell!” chants as Soupy made his way to the bench and into the locker room. “Well, you don’t have to know hockey too well to see how gutsy that was. But this is a city that appreciates that kind of effort but it’s not the first time they’ve seen that from the guys on that line and what they do for this team. It’s just another thing to add to the list of why they’re so important to us.”
After all, it’s nothing new to folks in New England and Kelly was quick to point that out.
“Soups has been doing that his whole career — not only since he’s been a Bruin but in Florida, too. That’s what makes him special.”
Photo via Twitter/MichaelFhurley