BOSTON (CBS) – Gregory Campbell admits he passed up a few chances to play overseas during the lockout.
Maybe that will work out for the best because as an NHLer in Europe, Campbell might’ve been asked to score some more goals than he’s accustomed to and now he has them saved up to light the lamp in black and gold.
Campbell scored his first of the season Friday night in the Bruins’ 4-2 win over the New York Islanders at TD Garden. Combined with his two assists, Campbell’s goal has him tied atop the Bruins’ leaderboard for point through the team’s 3-0-1 start.
“It is what it is. I’m just trying to contribute,” said Campbell, once again proving that to skate on a NHL fourth line you have to always be humble. “I felt like I worked hard in the lockout and the last four months, and I feel good right now. As I said, I’m just trying to contribute. Whether it’s goals, assists, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just helping the team win.”
Campbell’s long-time fourth-line mate Shawn Thornton also scored for the Bruins. The trio was on the ice for one goal against, but Campbell finished a plus-1 to even out his rating for the season.
On a Bruins team that prides itself on balance, and now has 15 players with at least one point and 11 goals from nine different players this season, the fourth line is expected to contribute as much as possible every night. Rare is the night that Bruins coach Claude Julien doesn’t roll that trio out for a regular shift looking for more than just the energy that most fourth lines provide.
Two seasons ago, Campbell matched a career-high with 13 goals. Last season, he dropped off to just eight goals during a season that saw many Bruins drop off in production after the team’s magical 2010-11 season.
Campbell’s game won’t ever be judged on point totals, and he certainly doesn’t keep track of his stats. Nonetheless, a potent fourth-line center will aid the Bruins’ efforts to stay atop the Eastern Conference and so far Campbell looks like skipping a European adventure in preparation for the shortened NHL season was the right decision.