Campbell ready to fill higher role if needed


Campbell ready to fill higher role if needed

WILMINGTON, MA In a shortened 48-game NHL schedule, the depth within an organization becomes an important element to sustained success. Each team needs extra forwards and defensemen that can come in and fill the roles of injured starters, and players need to have the ability to be upwardly mobile within the lineup.

Gregory Campbell is the perfect example of one of those versatile forwards that can wear different hats, and is already doing so less than 10 games per season. Normally Campbell is the fourth line center between Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton, but injuries to both of the wingers have temporarily torn that forward trio apart.

But he finished Saturday nights win over the Toronto Maple Leafs filling in for the injured Brad Marchand on the Patrice Bergeron line, and skated with Bergeron and Tyler Seguin at Mondays practice. If injuries keep Marchand out for Wednesday nights game against the Canadiens it appears that will be Campbell getting a shot at a top-six forward role with the Bruins.

Campbell doesnt have elite offensive skills, but he is willing to put his body into harms way in front of the net for tips, screens and deflections. The only wrinkle in his new spot is that hell be playing on the wing rather than manning the center position as he does on the energy line.

Hes a guy that can play both positions. With Tyler on the right side with some high-end offensive skills, I think Bergeron could benefit from another guy thats a good two-way player. While Gregory sometimes doesnt get enough credit, when hes got some players like that to play with youre going to see him go to the front of the net, youre going to see him grind it out and hes going to give that line some offense. .

Hes playing a role on the fourth line thats a little different, but he adapts very well.

The fourth line pivot falls into the ultimate team guy category, so hes more than willing to step into any role that will best help the team. The fact both Campbell and Paille can climb up the lines to fill in when injuries occur shows just how much depth Boston enjoys, but clearly a little something will be lost if the teams leading goal-scorer misses a rivalry game against the Habs.

Campbell said he felt comfortable skating with duo when he was slotted there midway through the second period when Marchand suffered an upper body injury after he tumbled into the end boards

I see an opportunity to fill a role if Marchand is out for longer than we expect, said Campbell, who has a goal and three points along with a minus-3 in 8 games this season. Wherever Im playing I want to contribute. Whether its with Bergeron or Seguin or with Paille and Thornton, the roles might be a little different where its an energy role or something thats more of a defensive role.

But I just want to contribute. Wherever I am thats my main goal.

It remains to be seen if Campbell sticks in that left wing spot with Ryan Spooner getting recalled on an emergency basis from the Providence Bruins early on Monday evening, but the fourth line center is ready for the challenge if it presents itself.

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.

*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.  

*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.

*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.

*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.

*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.

*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.

*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.


Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game: