Andy Brickley, the color commentator for the Bruins on NESN, called into Mut & Merloni on Friday afternoon, and he wholeheartedly agreed with Claude Julien ‘s apparent decision to play Kaspars Daugavins Friday night after Gregory Campbell  broke his leg in Wednesday’s double-overtime win.
“You have to look at it this way: What players are available in the absence of Gregory Campbell ? And what are we losing in Gregory Campell?” Brickley said. “You’re losing an energy guy, a real good faceoff guy, a penalty-killer, reliable, accountable ‘ all those things that you want in your role-playing centerman.”
Brickley said once Julien split up Rich Peverley  and Chris Kelly  to center the bottom two lines, Daugavins makes the most sense of the options, including Jay Pandolfo, Carl Soderberg and Jordan Caron.
“Which player has the most trust of the coaching staff, and which player gives your team the greater flexibility and versatility if you have to shorten the bench or you get into a special teams game?” Brickley asked. “Daugavins is probably your best bet.”
Brickley, like many, many others the last two days, lauded Campbell for sticking it out for the rest of his shift after breaking his leg while blocking a shot during Wednesday’s marathon Game 3. He said the effort exemplified “the [hockey] culture, how these guys grew up,” and Campbell finishing his shift was a high-risk, high-reward situation.
“I know there was some discussion whether he should’ve just lied down and writhed in pain in order to get the whistle — but I don’t think it would have come — so he did what he had to do,” Brickley said. “The impact that that can have if you survive that penalty-killing situation, but then get yourself to the bench, the message received by the players [about] how committed you are.”
In other personnel issues, Brickley agreed with the hosts that it would be a good idea to give Torey Krug more ice time on the power play in place of Zdeno Chara . That way, the captain could get more rest after logging 42:05 two days ago.
“I’m in the camp that says if you can get Chara a little bit of a breather in a power-play situation because you can roll Tory Krug ‘ because that’s one of the reasons he’s in lineup, he’s shown what he can do with the man-advantage ‘ then I would definitely lean in that direction,” Brickley said.
Brickley also commended Tuukka Rask  his Game 3 performance, agreeing with the hosts that it could prove to be a signature game for the goaltender. Game 3 was the type of game Brickley expected a lot more of coming into the series ‘ tightly contested and extremely competitive ‘ and Rask rose to the challenge.
He expects nothing less in Game 4.
“Tuukka had to be strong. And not only was he strong, but it was an A-plus performance,” Brickley said. “I expect Tuukka to be no different tonight ‘ a very calming influence, make all the saves he’s supposed to make, control his rebounds, and give that sense of invincibility to the Bruins because they really want this game badly.
“And beyond goalies, the question really becomes ‘¦ which team, given their situation, will have the stronger commitment tonight?”