Bruins notes: Campbell drops the gloves

191545.jpg

Bruins notes: Campbell drops the gloves

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

DENVER Gregory Campbell would be the first to tell anyone that hes not one of those scary players thats going to intimidate in the way that a potential fight with Shawn Thornton or Milan Lucic can.

But Campbell constantly shows his leadership and burning will to win when he picks and chooses spots to drop the gloves, and thats exactly what he did again in Saturdays 6-2 win over the Avalanche.

His fight with Cody MacLeod wasnt a knockout win while the two were throwing punches, but theres little doubt that the entire vibe on the ice changed once the brawl was broken up.

I think he did a great job. He went out there dropped the gloves, and it really did seem to settle our team down and change the momentum a little bit, said Claude Julien. Hes done a really good job of recognizing those moments in a game, and taking advantage of them.

The Bs were down 1-0 after a quick Colorado goal and seemed to be a bit on their heels to start the game.

Perhaps Campbell felt the skittishness coming off a flat loss to Buffalo, and decided to take it into his own hands and change the momentum that was trending away from Boston. Both players got in some decent shots with the more experienced pugilist in MacLeod taking the victory in the fisticuffs, but Campbell got the last laugh that he pretty much solely concerns himself with.

Those things happen. We were down 1-0 and sometimes its good to start something like that early and give a wakeup call to everybody. It sends a message to everyone that were here on the road and were not going anywhere, said Campbell. It was a little enthusiasm and a little emotion was what we needed, and we answered pretty quickly after that.

Fighting is not an easy thing to do. Im not Thornton or Lucic. Im not a scary guy. But you kind of have to put yourself out there, show that you care and its pretty satisfying when you see the other guys respond.

With Mark Recchis second period goal, he notched the 573rd goal of his career and moved into a tie with Mike Bossy for 19th place all-time on the NHL career goals scored list.

Brad Marchand finished with two goals, two assists, a plus-4 rating, four shots on net and a hellacious hit on Matt Duchene in the first period, but somehow the rookie rink rat didnt earn the No. 1 star of the game at the Pepsi Center. Might be time for a recount.

Strong games for both Milan Lucic and David Krejci, who both struggled in the Thursday night loss to the Sabres at TD Garden and had been battling with some consistency issues as of late.

Its about winning board battles. We knew before the game that they like to pinch a lot, and we knew if we held the boards and made strong plays that wed be in good shape, said Lucic. That was one of our best skating games recently. Thats why we were able to create a lot out there. But we cant sit on it. We need to go out there and keep going for more.It was an unfortunately eventful day for former Bruins defenseman Matt Hunwick in his first game back against his old teammates at the Pepsi Center. Hunwick played a mistake-free 21:48 against the B's and finished with a plus-1 in a 6-2 loss -- a pretty difficult thing to do -- and it seemed that many of his Bruins teammates and colleagues appreciated the chance to catch up with "Munch."Hunwick was also the Colorado player involved in the collision with Marc Savard in the corner that left the playmaking center dazed and in pain after his head slammed against the glass once Hunwick finished his check. It was clear that Hunwick was concerned as watched Savard struggle to get to his feet, and skate off with what seemed to be another apparent head trauma in a career that's had way too many of them already."I got a chance to see Matty in the hotel a bit on Friday and it was good to see him," said Julien. "He's a good player and a very good person, and in this day and age these kinds of moves are made for salary cap purposes. It seems that he's really gotten comfortable here in Colorado and things are working out for him, and as a coach you're happy when you see that."

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

ap_17146189635759.jpg

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want. 

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

It was the longest run that the P-Bruins have had in a few years and another unmistakable sign that the future is brightening for the Black and Gold, but the Bruins AHL affiliate has ended their playoff push in the Calder Cup semi-finals. 

The Providence Bruins fell by a 3-1 score to the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night to lose to the Crunch in five games when the best-of-seven series was set to return to Providence this coming week. The P-Bruins had vanquished the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears in the first two rounds of the Calder Cup playoffs before finally exiting against Syracuse. 

Though it’s over, it’s clear some of the Bruins prospects made a nice step forward over the second half of the AHL season and then into the Calder Cup playoffs. With the Calder Cup Finals yet to start, B’s forward prospect Danton Heinen stands as the second-leading playoff scorer in the entire AHL with nine goals and 18 points in 17 playoff games after really struggling in the first half of his first pro season while bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the AHL. 

This could bode well for the skilled Heinen and his hopes to make the leap to the NHL in the near future after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Denver. AHL journeymen-types Wayne Simpson and Jordan Szwarz were the next two top scorers for the P-Bruins in the playoff run, but Jake DeBrusk had a strong playoff season as well while popping in six goals in 17 games. DeBrusk led all Providence players with his 54 shots on net in the 17-game playoff run for Providence, and he headlined a group that included B’s prospects Ryan Fitzgerald, Zach Senyshyn, Matt Grzelcyk, Peter Cehlarik (who succumbed to shoulder surgery during the playoffs), Emil Johansson and Robbie O’Gara all getting some vital playoff experience. 

Both Heinen and DeBrusk will be strong candidates for jobs on the wing with the Boston big club when training camp opens in the fall after strong showings in the postseason. 

On the goaltending side, Zane McIntyre was solid for the P-Bruins at times while in 16 of their 17 playoff games with a .906 save percentage. But it was Malcolm Subban that was playing at the very end of the playoff run for Providence and featured a sterling .937 save percentage in the four AHL playoff games that he appeared in this spring after an up-and-down regular season. McIntyre had an .857 save percentage and 4.37 goals against average in the final series against Syracuse, and looked a little spent like many of the other P-Bruins players once they’d unexpectedly made it to the third round of the AHL postseason.  

The only unfortunate part of Providence’s run is that newly signed youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson couldn’t be a part of it after signing and then appearing in NHL games following a cut-off date for AHL playoff rosters. Both missed on an experience that could have been very conducive for their professional development, and uncovered a wrinkle in the NHL/AHL transaction process that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a developmental league.