March 6th, 2014 by

Campbell serving a hot hand for Bruins

Campbell serving a hot hand for Bruins

Soup is a dish that is best served hot.

Cliches aside, Gregory Campbell has The Hub of Hockey buzzing about his recent play. Don’t believe me? Just ask Claude Julien.

“Soupy is playing with a lot of confidence right now,” the Boston Bruins bench boss said after their 3-0 win over the Washington Capitals Thursday night. “All his goals have been from him driving [to] the net, so I think he’s done a good job there, and he’s been rewarded with some goals.”

After a scoreless first period, the Merlot Line center tallied his fourth goal in as many games – his seventh of the 2013-14 season – tipping Patrice Bergeron’s shot from the point to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead just 3:05 into the second. That, combined with Loui Eriksson’s seventh of the season (at 8:20 of the second), Brad Marchand’s empty netter (his 21st of the year at 18:26 of the third) and a stout defense that held the Caps offense to just 16 shots, sparked the Black and Gold in front of the 199th consecutive sellout crowd of 17,565 at TD Garden.

Not bad against Alex Ovechkin and company, who lit the Bruins up just five short days ago on Causeway Street. And its safe to say that they reversed that trend this time in one of their better efforts since coming back from the Olympics.

“That’s a pretty talented offensive team,” Campbell said about the Bruins’ effort. “We held them to 16 shots, and not only that, but we were pretty responsible defensively. We were turning pucks over with hard work and their D would like to join. So we were really conscious of having really good back pressure, so that’s where we want to get to.”

“Our offensive output has been really good, but it’s our defensive that we’re trying to clean up,” Campbell added. “It’s a strength of ours and that’s why we win most games. So it was a good showing for us tonight.”

As well-rounded as the Bruins were Thursday night, Campbell and his fellow line-mates – Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton – were equally as stout. The trio combined for five shots on goal and delivered ten hits in over 11 minutes of ice time. Moreover, they sustained pressure and kept the Caps on their heels throughout the night.

Oh, and they didn’t turn the puck over during their time on the ice. Which is a good reason why all three saw more ice time Thursday night.

“Well, the coaching staff and Claude are always fair to us. The harder we work, we tend to get rewarded more with ice time. And the more responsible we are, the more confidence he has in us in a line,” said Campbell, who was also 6-for-11 from the faceoff dot. “He has no problem playing us if we’re playing well and he can trust us. So we’re trying to gain that trust from the coaching staff and we’ve done that time and time again. I think that we’re getting back to that point where we can be out there and contribute.”

Since coming back from his leg injury sustained in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins – a scene that will forever live in Bruins lore – its safe to say that Gregory Campbell is playing his best hockey during this recent four-game stretch. And it’s why he and his fellow Merlot Line compadres are being rewarded with more ice time.

Hear what the Bruins had to say following their 3-0 win over the Capitals:

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