Legend of Soupy: Campbell breaks leg, finishes shift
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Boston Bruins center Gregory Campbell broke his right leg in Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins after blocking a shot, but he made sure to finish his shift before getting off the ice.
It’s the kind of story that makes sports great, the kind of players that make fans appreciate the commitment it takes to play.
New England has seen it before -- Curt Schilling’s bloody sock in the World Series, Rodney Harrison’s broken arm in the Super Bowl, and now Campbell is carving his way into Boston sports history the hard way.
Campbell was hurt during the second period of the Bruins 2-1, double-overtime victory Wednesday night that gave them a 3-0 lead over Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference finals. Game 4 is Friday night.
During a Penguins power play, Campbell fell in the right faceoff circle with about eight minutes left. He got up and dove in the high slot to try and block Evgeni Malkin's shot. For the next 47 seconds he stayed in the play and on the ice with a broken leg.
“You get that from him every game. That’s the kind of player he is. He’s a real dedicated individual to his work and to his game,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien.
“What he did kind of epitomizes the kind of player he is. He’s been like that for probably his whole career, but the whole time he’s been here for sure. He definitely sacrifices his body in a lot of ways to help a team win,” said Bruins forward and Campbell’s line mate Shawn Thornton.
Campbell might’ve done just that. If not physically, there was enough emotional inspiration to go around.
“We don’t want that to go to waste, I mean, it takes a big…to lay down in front of a slapper like that and obviously you saw him play on a broken leg for 45 seconds,” said Thornton.
“What he’s done for our team and what he did [Wednesday] night to block that shot its normal that the guys are going to want to rally around that,” said Julien.
Maybe the rally will continue, but Campbell’s season will not -- a tough blow for a guy who has been one of the Bruins’ best this postseason. In 15 playoff games this year, Campbell has three goals and four assists as part of a strong fourth line.
“It’s really tough to say anything to a player whose put so much into the game, the commitment and everything else, what he means to our team, to me he’s in as good of spirits as he could be,” said Julien.
Thornton, a tough guy in own right, said 95 percent of players probably don’t get up off the ice in Campbell’s situation.
To replace “Soupy”, Julien said he has a lot of options. Julien said he'd like to continue using four lines. Boston, easily one of the deepest teams in the league, has plenty of options that have been sitting in the press box, and can dress at any time. Jay Padnolfo, Kaspars Daugavins, Jordan Caron and Carl Soderberg are among those who could get the call.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.