Campbell helps lead Merlot Line with his first point

Campbell helps lead Merlot Line with his first point
November 12, 2013, 1:00 am
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BOSTON - It took 17 games for it to finally happen, but Bruins fourth-line center Gregory Campbell finally got his first point of the season Monday afternoon.

The centering force on the Merlot Line made the pass that set Daniel Paille free for a rush down the left wing that didn’t stop until he beat Anders Lindback with a backhander for the middle goal in a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Campbell served as the last Bruins player on this year’s team to record at least one point this season for the Black and Gold.

It was Paille’s second goal of the season, and it was a big step forward for the Bruins fourth line bringing energy immediately after a scoring shift by the Bruins.

It was all pretty sweet for Paille, who faked a cross pass to Shawn Thornton before splitting up Keith Aulie and Eric Brewer in front of the net for the fourth-line scoring chance.

“That’s the type of role we accept as a line, and it’s a big bonus that a goal came right out of it,” said Paille. “For us, we’re going to do everything we can to score some goals and create that energy like we do every game.

Paille’s goal arrived just 20 seconds after Patrice Bergeron’s score that opened things up for both sides, and is a pretty good indicator the Black and Gold are focused on the job at hand. That puts them in lock step with the rest of the forward group, and finally seems to be giving the Bruins coaching staff a fully functional group of options at the forward position.

“I think Brad [Marchand] is really finding his game, helping that line become better as well and with time that line just keeps getting better,” said Claude Julien. “[The] Merlot line scores a big goal for us tonight. That’s kind of the identity of our hockey team; you need a little bit from everybody on different nights and the [David] Krejci line, to me, has been as consistent as a coach would want it to be so far.”

As for Campbell himself, he doesn’t expect that finally getting an assist means his game is in peak form as he continues to work his way back from a broken right leg. But it is another sign that things are headed in the right direction, and the Merlot Line will be at full power sooner rather than later.

“There’s always room for improvement, but I’ve been working hard, and working hard in areas that I think have been coming back slower than I expected,” said Campbell. “It will come. Claude and the coaching staff have shown me a lot of patience, and I appreciate that.

“My responsibility is to work hard at it every day and get back to the player I know I am, and its coming. It’s got to be small steps, and I have to be patient, too. But I’m working hard at it.”

Now Campbell has a point to show for his troubles, and a fourth line that’s ready to take off if he can help show them the way.