WILMINGTON, MA Its back to business as usual for Bostons fourth line as Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton have returned to health in the last two games. That allowed them to reunite with center Gregory Campbell, and give the Bruins their full compliment of forwards while taking three of a possible four points against the Sabres and Rangers in the last two games.
There were some games that we really contributed to early in the season, said Gregory Campbell. We want to continue that. Its a tough league to be consistent in that area of bringing energy, and I have so much respect for lines that are able to bring that same level of energy night after night.
We just want to be a line that Claude Julien and the rest of the coaching staff can be proud of.
The fourth line has been kept under 10 minutes of ice time in those last two games during five-on-five play, but Campbell feels like they are on the verge of getting back into their early season impact. The fourth line kicked in goals in early season wins against the Rangers and Islanders, and the center is looking for more opportunistic offense now that the familiar forwards have been brought back together.
I really enjoy playing with them and I think we offer a lot to the team, said Campbell, who has a goal and three points along with a minus-3 in 11 games for the Bruins. We just want to keep adding to the teams success and keep contributing. Some nights it might be on the scoresheet, but most nights it might not be.
Well take any form of contribution from our line. Those guys are great to play with, we know each other well and Im happy to see them healthy again.
The Bruins also have extra forward Jay Pandolfo wearing a Merlot practice jersey at Ristuccia Arena, and lending a little experience and depth should injuries or circumstances break up the fourth line again. But for now its all about Campbell, Paille and Thornton getting back into their familiar role of providing emotion, intensity, energy and occasional offense in a job they take very seriously.
The fourth line had a great start, but after that its hard to evaluate because both Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille missed some games, Gregory Campbell moved up. Its hard for me to evaluate where they are at this moment, but Im certainly pleased with the start of their season, said Julien. They obviously showed early on that they were back to what they were before. They scored some important goals for us, certainly gave us the energy they used to. Its a matter now of seeing that they continue doing that throughout the whole season.
For Julien and the fourth line its about getting back to what they were when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup two years ago, and now they can at least aspire to that with all three components of the line finally healthy again.