BOSTON - Gregory Campbell is coming close to achieving cult status here in Beantown.
How many injured fourth-line centres get to participate in a packed, off-day media conference at the Stanley Cup final?
That was the case Tuesday as Campbell spoke for the first time since having his leg broken in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final while blocking a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins centre Evgeni Malkin.
Campbell struggled to his feet and played for 47 seconds on what turned out to be a broken fibula in his right leg.
The images of his gutsy play have come to symbolize in the minds of many what hockey players and the Stanley Cup playoffs are all about.
“I’ve got asked that a few times: Did you know it was broken? You know, I can’t say with 100% certainty that I knew it was broken, but I felt like it was a different feeling. I blocked a few shots before. This just seemed different. Then, once I was able to get back to my feet, I was not positive, but fairly sure that there was something wrong. I don’t have x-ray vision, so I didn’t know at the time that it was broken for sure. Like I said, it was a different feeling,” said Campbell.
“The pain aspect, yeah, I mean, it hurt a little bit. It was sore, but your adrenaline’s going pretty good at that point. You’re stuck on the ice with a couple of the best players in the world. You really don’t have much time to think about anything else but trying to help out and kill a penalty.”
Campbell said other players would have done the same in a similar situation.
“The way I look at it, it might sound naďve of me, but I was just trying to do whatever I could to kill the penalty, help out. At that point I really wasn’t thinking much. There are a lot of players right now that are playing not 100% and there’s a lot of guys that play through pain. I don’t see myself any different than anybody else in this league. There’s a lot of tough guys in this league. A lot of players are willing to do whatever they can to win. At this point you see that more often, guys doing whatever they can to win.”