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Mike Milbury on D&H: Nathan Horton ‘needs a size 12 up the derriere’ 12.29.10 at 1:58 pm ET
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Mike Milbury

NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday with guest hosts Mike Mutnansky and Chris Villani. To hear the interview, including Milbury’s thoughts on the upcoming NHL Winter Classic in Pittsburgh, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Milbury said enforcer Shawn Thornton deserves credit for sparking the Bruins with his fight just seconds into the game against the Thrashers last Thursday. The B’s won that game and now have won three straight. Said Milbury: “I thought Thornton was tremendous in the game where the team needed emotion, and he clearly once again established himself as a guy that won’t relent and won’t fall off the map, even though others around him might be suffering and feeling sorry for themselves. This guy just does it. It was a huge pick-me-up.”

The Bruins won Tuesday night after a controversial call went their way late in the game, with the Lightning getting penalized for Steve Stamkos‘ shoulder-to-shoulder hit that sent Gregory Campbell sprawling into the boards and the B’s scoring the game-winner on the ensuing power play. In a story in Wednesday’s Tampa Tribune, writer Erik Erlendsson brought up the fact that Campbell’s father, Colin, is the NHL’s senior vice president of hockey operations. Milbury agreed that the call was incorrect, but he was not pleased with the insinuation that Campbell’s father’s role had any effect on the referee’s decision.

Said Milbury: “No. 1, that’s really dirty pool cheap shot involving Greg Campbell. No need to go there. … This call had nothing to do with who was involved in the play. A lot of times you say a guy like Stamkos gets the benefit of the doubt. The star player usually gets a little bit more room by and large in the league. So, knock that off the table as consideration and call it really low-down journalism in my impression.”

As for the penalty call, Milbury said it’s another example of a negative trend in the game. “Where are we going with this?” he said. “I’ve called it a number of things; I’ll leave it at wussification. To me, that was a great hit, good body position, [Campbell] lost his balance. The whole climate throughout the league has been, sorry, soccer mom mentality. Little Johnny might get hurt if he gets hit hard enough, and we’re all worried about hits to the head and overly sensitive to stuff that occurs.

“It’s a dangerous sport and guys will get hurt and they can get hurt, but if we’re going to eliminate hits like the Stamkos hit on Campbell — [Devils analyst] Ken Daneyko was saying last night, ‘This is a courageous game.’ We’re taking the courage out of the game when you take away a hit like that. You’ve got to put guys in a little fear and a little jeopardy. And when those people have to face that, they have to get through it somehow or other. If we eliminate those circumstances, I think we’re doing the game a disservice. Last night I thought was a terrible call.”

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Read More: Blake Wheeler, Gregory Campbell, Marc Savard, Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille ready to fill in for another injury 12.20.10 at 2:10 pm ET
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Another injury, another opportunity for Daniel Paille.

Daniel Paille has played in 11 games this season. (AP)

That’s how the season has been for the Bruins winger and nightly assumed healthy scratch, but with Brad Marchand out Monday, he’ll once again see the good that comes of the undesirable role.

Since the second game of the season, Paille has been out of the lineup unless another forward has been injured, or, as was the case with Tyler Seguin last week, a healthy scratch. He’s played 11 games this season, with one assist and a minus-2 rating.

The idea of only playing when another guy is hurt is less than ideal from his perspective as both a teammate and an individual, but Paille is simply working with what he’s got.

“I’ve got to make the best of the opportunity every game,” Paille said Monday. “At this point, [an injury] is the only way I’m going to get into a game until I can prove otherwise.”

Marchand will miss Monday’s game vs. the Ducks due to a hit he took Saturday night. Claude Julien noted that the winger remains day-to-day and that his injury — which remains undisclosed — is not long-term. Even so, Paille figures to take Marchand’s place on the energy line with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell.

Paille, who played in 74 games for the B’s last season after being acquired from the Sabres, has experience playing with Thornton. Still, the merlot line of Marchand – Campbell – Thornton has been one of the most consistent fixtures of this Bruins squad. Whether it can operate as efficiently without one of its parts remains to be seen.

“I know what to expect with Thornton and the effort he gives every night. I played with Campbell a little bit in the preseason — I really enjoyed playing with him as well,” Paille said. “He and I, I feel that we play almost similar. I think I can adjust to his game very well.

“They just bring that energy type of game,” Paille added of the line. It’s just something I’m looking to get into tonight and get a chance to play with them.”

Paille admitted that though his mind has been fresh all season, the time out of the lineup has made it “a bit harder to get in the same shape” as his teammates who play each game. He did say that John Whitesides has worked with him to make up for it so that he’s “physically ready” when he does get the call.

As for Marchand, Thornton isn’t worried about the mindset of the undersized winger, whose status is uncertain among the media given how few details have been divulged.

“Nobody likes to miss a game,” Thornton said when asked about Marchand. “He’s a competitor and he wants to play, but these things happen during the course of a long season. He’s always in a good mood, that kid.”

Though the Bruins will be missing one of their more fiery players and top penalty killers, Thornton is confident in what Paille will bring should he be inserted into both roles.

“I’ve played with [Paille] enough games to know what he brings. If he’s on our line, we’ll do the same thing,” Thornton said. “Get pucks in deep, work down low, and be strong on pucks. …They bring a lot of the same stuff to the table, so it should be a fairly easy transition.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton
Gregory Campbell to donate pies to homeless on Thanksgiving 11.24.10 at 5:19 pm ET
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The Bruins announced on Wednesday that forward Gregory Campbell will spend Thanksgiving personally delivering $2000 worth of pies to homeless shelters across Boston. Campbell will purchase 400 pies from Mike’s Pastry in the North End and hit up the shelters from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Campbell, who prides himself on being an honest player on the ice, will stop at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, the St. Francis House, and the Pine Street Inn. He’ll also donate pies to the Boston Rescue Mission, Haley House, Boston Family Shelter, Home for Little Wonderers, Boston Ronald McDonald House, Temporary Home for Women and Children, Yawkey Family Inn, Rosie’s Place and Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

Campbell came to the Bruins in the trade that brought Nathan Horton to Boston in June. He has two points and three assists, as well as an even rating in 19 games this season.

Read More: Gregory Campbell,
Update: Colin Campbell confirms e-mails that call Marc Savard ‘faker’ to TSN 11.15.10 at 12:16 pm ET
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Colin Campbell called Marc Savard "the biggest faker going."(AP)

[UPDATE: 4:27] NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell confirmed and responded to the leaking of e-mails that have put him in an unflattering light.

Tyler Dellow, an Oilers blogger, on Sunday posted what he says were some of Campbell’s e-mails. (The link appeared to be dead by midday Monday). After doing a little detective work, Dellow determined a bias for Campbell’s son, Gregory Campbell, and a bias against others, namely Marc Savard.

Here’s an e-mail to former director of officiating Stephen Walkom sent in February of 2007 regarding then-referee Dean Warren:

To Stephen Walkom/Tor/NHL@NHL
Subject Re: Delayed Penalties/High Sticks 02/#/2007 4:24 pm

A bend in the road is a dead end if you round the corner and Dean Warren is standing there. Your answer re: his high stick calls and the score of the game were horse [manure]. The 3rd call on [player] was while they were down 5 on 4 and on a def zone face off vs that little fake artist [player] I had him in [city] biggest faker going. And Warren fell for it when he grabbed his face on a face off. Your supposed to see the act, not call the embellishing act. Dean Warren has to go with [referee] There must be a way to get rid of this guy. Is there a way we can tract sic and total minors called by referees this year. We could then get the minors they call per game. … or with 2 [referees on the ice] it is impossible? Warren and [referee] out of [team's] games. Give them to [referees].

Thanks to Dellow’s investigative work, the only Warren-reffed game in February of 2007 in which a player had three high-sticking penalties was on the 24th, a game between the Panthers and the Bruins. Gregory Campbell was called for the high-sticking, and Savard drew the call that Colin Campbell seemed to particularly take umbrage with. The “biggest faker going” remark seems to apply to Savard, given that by saying “I had him in [city],” he appears to be referring to New York, where Savard played while Campbell was an assistant coach.

Campbell spoke to TSN on Monday regarding the matter, but commented only on emails sent to Walkom regarding a tripping call on Gregory in a different game.

“For me, it’s much ado about nothing,” Campbell told TSN. “Stephen and I would have banter back and forth and Stephen knows I’m a (hockey) dad venting and both of us knowing it wouldn’t go any further than that. Stephen would laugh at me. The game in question (when Gregory Campbell was penalized late in the Atlanta-Florida game) wasn’t on TV and I was asking Stephen to find out for me if it was a soft call. That’s all there ever was to it. The (refs) working that game are still in the league, aren’t they? Stephen handled the officials, just like Terry Gregson does now, and I’ve got a lot of emails to those guys asking about this soft call or that soft call and that’s in a lot of games. I’m not ultimately responsible for the (on-ice) officials, that’s Terry Gregson’s responsibility, but I have to answer to GMs on these calls.”

Campbell famously chose against throwing the book at Matt Cooke when he delivered a blindside hit to the head of Savard last season. If one wanted to draw a connection between what the e-mails allege and the lack of punishment on Cooke, they would appear to have a case, depending on the authenticity of the e-mails.

The Bruins politely informed media on Monday that Gregory Campbell, who of course now plays for Boston, would not be taking questions about his father. The league, however, did offer a comment to TSN later in the day.

“Any suggestion that Colin Campbell performs his job with any less than 100 percent integrity at all times and in every decision he makes is way off base and just factually wrong,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “Because of the potential for a conflict of interest, or more importantly a perceived conflict of interest, the League has implemented various structural protections that prohibit Colie from having any oversight or disciplinary authority relating to any game in which his son, Gregory, plays. Its always fair to question and criticize League decisions as being wrong, but not on the basis that they aren’t justly and fairly arrived at.”

Read More: Colin Campbell, Gregory Campbell, Marc Savard,
Gregory Campbell shows concern for Brandon Prust 10.27.10 at 1:47 pm ET
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In a brief chat with Gregory Campbell following the Bruins’ practice on Wednesday, it came up that it could be seen on twitter that he had called Brandon Prust to apologize for his high-stick that got Prust right around the eye late in the second period of team’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers on Saturday.

Gregory Campbell

Gregory Campbell

“Really?” Campbell asked. “Did he put it on there?”

It was a reporter who had tweeted it, but that, not surprisingly, is Campbell. A quiet guy who isn’t looking for headlines when he does something like check on an opponent after an unfortunate play.

Campbell, who hails from Tillsonburg, Ontario, knows Prust a bit, as Prust is from the nearby city of London. Campbell said the two see each other “out and about” and at golf tournaments during the summer. The B’s fourth-line center said that despite not being “best friends,” he felt it was important for him to offer an apology for the high stick.

“That’s a pretty dangerous thing where you get cut near the eye or on eye, so I just wanted to make sure that he was alright. I’m an honest player,” Campbell said. “I didn’t mean to high-stick him, and I just wanted to make sure he was fine.”

Campbell, who has now picked up two double-minors through six games for high-sticking, said that he is making a conscious effort to avoid seeing a third. He doesn’t want to develop a reputation, and, more importantly, doesn’t want to see anybody get hurt by his doings.

“Of course I don’t want it to happen again. The first two times, I didn’t mean for it to happen. I think the coaches know what kind of player I am, and if you watch the plays, it’s totally unintentional and part of the game.”

Prust went to the hospital after leaving the game on Sunday but was able to play the Rangers’ next game against the Devils.

Read More: Brandon Prust, Gregory Campbell,
Gregory Campbell feeling fine after puck to head and reportedly sorry for high stick 10.26.10 at 1:58 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Gregory Campbell said on Tuesday that he’s not feeling any of the effects of a puck that hit him in the back of his head in Saturday night’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers. Campbell said that he got eight or nine stitches between the first and second periods, and that they should be out around this weekend.

Campbell’s helmet also took a beating on the play, and asked whether his initial concern was a concussion or the cut he suffered, he said his first thought was the former, saying “It’s a big blow to the head” and that such thinking is natural. Even so, Campbell, who has had a few concussions, noted he didn’t think that the play had yielded such an injury at the time. He grinned in saying that was focused on “trying to look like I was fine” when he came back out for the second and third periods.

—–

Campbell took his second high sticking double-minor of the season on Saturday when he got Brandon Prust  near the eye with 30 seconds to go in the second period.  Prust left the game but was able to play the next day against the Devils.

“I don’t mean to high stick anybody,” Campbell said following the game. “I am a pretty honest player. I don’t like spending time in the box, especially when we’re behind. The team did a great job of killing [the penalty], but it was unintentional.”

It seems he proved how honest a player he was, as Andrew Gross of the North Jersey record tweeted Tuesday that Campbell called Prust to offer him an apology for how he handled his stick. Not surprising from as nice a guy as Campbell is, but a good story nonetheless.

Read More: Gregory Campbell,
Fourth line a source of energy for Bruins 10.23.10 at 1:53 pm ET
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Gregory Campbell's done plenty of fighting, but the fourth line has proven they can do a lot more than that (AP Photo)

Gregory Campbell's done plenty of fighting, but the fourth line has proven they can do a lot more than that (AP Photo)

If you think very highly of the Bruins’ fourth line after its most recent example of high-energy play on Thursday, you’re not alone. The combination of youngster Brad Marchand, newcomer Gregory Campbell and fan favorite Shawn Thornton has made for a line that has impressed many on the young season, including the guy who determines their minutes.

“That’s as good as I think we’ve seen our fourth line here in the years that I’ve been here as far as what they do, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to start these guys,” Claude Julien said following Saturday’s game. “They’re reliable enough that if the other team puts their top line in, they know, and what’s good about them is that they don’t question what they’re going to do. They put pucks in deep and they’re going to work and they work hard and they seem to be in sync with the fore-check, but they seem to set the stage and the tempo for the game early on.”

The line can expect about 10 minutes of ice time a game, with Campbell and Marchand both seeing time on the penalty  kill. Thornton and Campbell both have a plus-one rating, while Marchand’s is even. There’s a lot to like, and the members of the fourth line are taking pride in it.

“We work hard,” Gregory Campbell said following Saturday’s morning skate. “The coaching staff has given us a lot of confidence and that helps out a lot as a player. [They've] kind of expected us to do more than just be a responsible checking line. That’s something that we have to take pride in, to be an energy line and to be responsible and to be hard to play against. On the flip side of that, we have to try to create things, and that helps a lot when we have three good lines that are playing before us, and for us to go out there at key times in the game and provide that energy and wear the other teams down. It helps over the course of a game and the season.”

The players undoubtedly appreciate the minutes that they’ve been given each night. Marchand knows that if they are to continue getting as much ice time as they’ve gotten, they’ll need to prove capable of passing each test they face. Going against Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals’ top line on Thursday was the most recent example of them doing so, and perhaps a big reason for Julien’s postgame praise. Marchand hopes that as the games pile up, the fourth line continues to handle whichever line they’re up against.

“I think that the main thing as that we want to take advantage of the other teams’ fourth lines,” Marchand said on Saturday. “We just want to get it deep in the other team’s end and try to take as many pucks to the net as we can. We want to be defensive and be accountable in our end. It’s nice of [Julien] to trust us against other team’s top lines. We played against Ovechkin’s line there the other night, and I think we held our own, so it’s nice that they trust us and they know we’re accountable out there.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton,
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