For a guy who missed the Bruins final seven playoff games, including all six of the Bruins Stanley Cup Final games against the Chicago Blackhawks, and for a guy who hasn’t been quite the same this season as he still gets truly back to normal after suffering a broken leg in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last season, last night’s goal could not have felt any better for Gregory Campbell.
After being held pointless through the Bruins first 16 games, people started to question if Campbell would ever be the same again. Granted, Campbell is not known for finding his name on the score sheet nearly every game, but Campbell has always been a guy who chips in with a goal or an assist here and there.
In Thursday’s highly entertaining shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues, Campbell got the Bruins on the board first with his late first period goal. The tally marked his first goal of the season, and first since May 25, 2013
“It is nice to get on the board,” said Campbell who finished the night with 12:22 of ice time.
“It’s been a long time coming. 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 goal was Campbell’s fourth point in six games, a sure sign that Campbell is back to his type of game and back to helping contribute the way he knows how. The injury is obviously a tough one to recover from and could be a reason as to why Campbell struggled early on this season, but you won’t find Campbell using that as an excuse.
It wasn’t just his goal that stood out Thursday night; it was everything else he did on the ice. Campbell had three shots on goal, had three hits and won nine of 11 faceoffs.
It wasn’t just Campbell who has been struggling this season; it’s been the entire fourth line that has been having trouble scoring this season. With that being said, the line has been much better of late with three goals in the previous two games.
That recent success has come from the trio once again finding that chemistry that has made them one of the better fourth lines in hockey in recent years.
“Yeah I think we’re finding our rhythm again,” said Campbell. “Those guys have been working hard for me. And it’s not a matter of whether we have chemistry; it’s just a matter of finding it. It’s a long season and we’re only a quarter of the way through, so we’re in good shape.”
As always Campbell has been a huge part of a very successful Bruins penalty kill this season. The Bruins rank second in the NHL as they killed off 86.8 percent of penalties taken this season. Campbell’s 1:44 of average shorthanded time on ice per game ranks third among Bruins forwards.
With the Bruins being as good as they are defensively, and in goal, depth scoring from guys like Campbell and his linemates could be the difference between two points, or none.