Campbell returns to Bruins practice after foot fracture

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Campbell returns to Bruins practice after foot fracture

WILMINGTON, Mass. Gregory Campbell missed three games with a fracture in his left foot, but it looks like hes on the cusp of a return for the Bruins. The fourth-line center skated by himself at Ristuccia Arena on Saturday while the team was blowing out the Flyers in Philadelphia, and then joined his brothers in Spoked B arms for a full practice on Sunday.

Claude Julien had indicated that Campbell couldnt further injure his foot, and it would instead come down to the fourth line forwards ability to manage and play through the pain. Campbell originally injured the foot blocking a shot while killing a penalty in the win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, and couldnt even get his left foot into a skating boot until Friday.

Theres been no extra swelling or anything like that. It felt good skating in practice," Campbell said. Its definitely manageable now. At first it was just difficult to get the foot into a skating boot and maneuver around with it. Its not as easy to judge game situations in practice, but it felt good to me.

Campbell has watched his teammates rip off three straight wins since he went on the shelf, and missed out on the road trip through Ottawa and Philadelphia with his teammates. So the grinder of a pivot is chomping at the bit to make a return as soon as Monday night against the Habs.

Its tough to miss games like that one in Philly. Those are awesome games when its an afternoon game and the crowd is going crazy. In my opinion its the worst thing for an athlete to sit out. Its nice to see the team doing well and thats the silver lining. But on the flip side of it I want to be a part of it.

Claude Julien said it was a wait and see approach for Campbells availability against the Canadiens given the nature of the injury. But the fourth liner shouldnt have gathered too much rust after missing only a week of action, and his toughness has never been in question.

Its his first practice with the team. When you go through a grind of a practice with three-on-three drills and things, you just want to see how that foot reacts, said Julien. Its always better as an organization to make those decisions tomorrow, and well follow up with him tomorrow morning.

While Campbell returned to action Sunday, it was Rich Peverley that was missing from practice after playing sporadically in the second and third periods of the victory over the Flyers. Claude Julien indicated it was a minor issue that Peverley has been dealing with for much of the season, and it didnt appear that it would keep him out of the lineup against Montreal.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious. 

Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

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Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It’s a bit of a helpless feeling for an NHL general manager watching their star players participate in an intense hockey tournament like the World Cup of Hockey that doesn’t directly benefit their respective teams.

Not helpless because of the tournament’s outcome, obviously, but helpless because players could return from Toronto dinged up, or even worse significantly injured.

Aaron Ekblad had to shut it down for Team North American with what many speculated was a concussion, and Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray is out a month, or more, with a broken hand sustained playing for the same young guns team.

So, it certainly must have been an uneasy few moments for Don Sweeney when Brad Marchand was pulled from Team Canada’s last game for the concussion protocol after a nasty-looking collision with Team Europe forward Marian Hossa.

Marchand went through the testing, and ended up returning to the game no worse for the wear. But it could have been a lot worse for a Bruins team that can’t afford to be missing Marchand, Patrice Bergeron or Zdeno Chara, who are still playing for teams alive in the semifinal round of the tourney.

“I would expect all of us to have been in a similar situation. For everybody - any general manager, coaches, staff, you're concerned about [injuries],” said Sweeney, talking about the World Cup and Marchand’s close call. “I mean, especially when you realize the stakes are going to go up as the tournament goes along. The pride involved - it's a risk. There's no question, it's a risk.

“But you also want to see them play their best hockey and they're not going to hold back. Yeah, it's a definite concern. You've got your fingers and toes crossed.”

David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask have already returned to Boston fully healthy. David Backes should be joining the team anytime now after Team USA’s rude dismissal from the tournament. But Sweeney and the Bruins still have their sensors out for the three B’s players taking part that aren’t quite out of the woods yet before returning to B’s camp in one piece.