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Gregory Campbell hopes to be ready for regular season opener 09.05.13 at 9:41 pm ET
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LOWELL — On the same day that he skated with teammates for the first time since breaking his leg in June, Bruins center Gregory Campbell said though he isn’t ready right now, he hopes to be by the time the regular season starts on Oct. 3.

Campbell, who broke his leg blocking an Evgeni Malkin slapshot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals and underwent surgery on June 10, had a recovery time of 6-8 weeks. He was cleared to begin running and skating lightly on Aug. 20.

“I kind of pushed the envelope the entire summer, just trying to do as much as I can, sometimes even more than I should be,” Campbell said. “As far as being on track, it’s been a pretty smooth rehab. I’ve been back to Boston a couple times, got X-rayed and in each step of the way, things have gone well as far as what the surgeon thinks about the healing process. As soon as I got word that I could start running and skating, I took that to heart and got right on the ice.”

Campbell said his first time on the ice “didn’t feel great” and he has had to work with trainers to put the appropriate amount of foam in his skate to alleviate discomfort where a screw was inserted during surgery.

Conditioning-wise, he could tell that his teammates, who were working out while he was rehabbing this summer, were noticeably ahead of him on Thursday.

“I guess in my mind I feel like I’m still a step or two behind, especially these other guys that have been going hard for some time now,” he said. “I think I can definitely participate in practices and things like that. I think I’ll just have to see how it goes and how I progress and not push.”

With training camp opening on Wednesday, Campbell said his priority is to take the time between now and the start of the regular season to get caught up, rather than focusing on going as hard as possible at the start of training camp. He isn’t even sure if he’ll be able to get into preseason games, but he certainly wants to.

“I think that’s definitely the smart approach,” he said of prioritizing the regular season over the start of camp. “Obviously the preseason helps that and I would definitely like to play some preseason games with the doctors and trainers’ approval, but I guess I’ll have more feeling for that as time goes on, the more I skate with these guys. I hadn’t been skating at this high a level yet. I guess I’ll see how comfortable I am with that, and as time goes on we’ll make that decision.”

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Gregory Campbell back on the ice with Bruins at 2:07 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins center Gregory Campbell skated with teammates Thursday at Ristuccia Arena, a highly encouraging sign for the team with the start of the regular season a little less than a month away.

Campbell broke his leg blocking an Evgeni Malkin slap shot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Penguins, famously getting up and finishing his shift despite the break. He underwent surgery on June 10 and spent the offseason recovering.

Campbell did not seem limited on the ice Thursday, skating and shooting without any apparent problems.

The other newcomer to captains practices Thursday was forward Jordan Caron, who figures to compete for a bottom-six job this season.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Shawn Thornton expects Gregory Campbell to be ready for training camp 08.12.13 at 8:06 pm ET
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MIDDLETON – Shawn Thornton held his fourth annual Putts & Punches for Parkinson’s tournament Monday, gathering teammates and celebrities to raise money in an effort to fight the disease that took his grandmother’s life after a 14-year battle.

Tuukka Rask and Daniel Paille joined Thornton at Ferncroft Country Club, but Thornton had some encouraging news about another Bruins teammate when he shared that Gregory Campbell looked to be his usual self when he visited Thornton two weeks ago.

Campbell famously broke his leg blocking an Evgeni Malkin shot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, finishing his shift in what would be his last game of the season. Thornton said Monday that his linemate is cast-free, working out and has a good shot to be ready for training camp when it opens next month.

“He’s up walking around, he says he’s been working out and he looks good,” Thornton said. “I’m hoping he’s ready to go for the start of the camp.”

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Gregory Campbell speaks: ‘It hurt a little bit’ 06.18.13 at 1:33 pm ET
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Gregory Campbell spoke to the media Tuesday for the first time since breaking his right leg blocking a shot from Evgeni Malkin in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Campbell, who was on crutches, took the podium at TD Garden and discussed his now famous shift, in which he blocked the shot, got up and played nearly a minute on a broken leg while clearly in pain during a Penguins power play.

“I mean, it hurt a little bit,” Campbell said of the pain he was in while staying on the ice. “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.”

The Merlot Line center and penalty-killer said he wasn’t 100 percent sure that his leg was broken when the puck hit him, but he was “fairly sure that there was something wrong.”

Campbell underwent surgery last Monday and has a recovery time of six to eight weeks. He hopes to be on his feet again by late July/early August and plans on participating in training camp, regardless of whether he’s completely up to speed.

“I’m fully expecting to be 100 percent at camp,” he said. “Maybe I won’t be participating fully in camp. I can’t say that right now. But if you look at six to eight weeks, it puts me in mid July to late July, early August. I’ll be back on my feet.

“Obviously my training program is going to change a little bit. That’s a big part of my game. But that’s just something that I have to deal with and I’ll have to work around.”

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Claude Julien on Gregory Campbell: ‘He’s part of our family’ 06.17.13 at 2:22 pm ET
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From the moment Evgeni Malkin‘s shot broke his right leg and he skated around on it, Gregory Campbell has become a Stanley Cup legend in Boston.

On Monday, part of the drama of the Bruins returning home to play Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final at TD Garden will be Campbell in attendance to watch his team play in person. He was unable to make it to Chicago for Games 1 and 2 because of surgery to repair the leg.

“It’s nice to see him,” coach Claude Julien said Monday. “There’s no doubt. Obviously he can’t play. We miss him. He’s a good player for us. But just to be around our team, it’s nice to have him back. He’s part of our family. That’s how we look at things in that dressing room. If he could have, he would have been in Chicago. It was too early after surgery. From here on in, he’s good to go, going to be with us the whole way.”

Campbell, who drew huge cheers during an appearance on the video board in Game 4 against the Penguins, was with the team Monday morning as they prepared for Game 3 Monday night.

Julien has juggled the lines often since the injury to Campbell in Game 3 of the Eastern finals against Pittsburgh. Shawn Thornton has watched his playing time decrease somewhat but in Julien’s eyes he still remains an integral part of the fourth line.

“Let’s not confuse something here,” Julien said. “He’s not in the lineup because of what he brings in the dressing room. We got a lot of guys that do that. He’s in our lineup even though his minutes go down because he deserves to be there. He’s great on the forecheck. He’s actually a lot smarter of a player than a lot of people give him credit for. He reads plays well, doesn’t get himself in trouble much, gets the puck out of our end.

“Certainly his presence makes our team better. We’ve seen that at times when we’ve had to pull him out. There’s no doubt our team is more comfortable with him in our lineup for all the right reasons.”

WIth Daniel Paille jumping up to join Tyler Seguin and Chris Kelly on the third line, the fourth line has been a work-in-progress. With the home team having the last change, Julien figures to have a distinct advantage in getting more time for Thornton and the fourth line.

“There’s no doubt it makes it a little bit easier,” Julien said. “Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen all the time, but it certainly is a lot easier. Joel’s a pretty good coach, smart coach. When he senses something, he’ll take advantage of it. I had to be extra careful in Chicago with that. But, again, tonight hopefully it’s a little easier. Nonetheless, we’re in the Final here, you got to do what you got to do. Sometimes you may play guys a little bit more, but they’re capable of handling the ice time. You’re right, that last change will hopefully give me a little bit of an easier change.”

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Andy Brickley on M&M: Kaspars Daugavins the right call to replace Gregory Campbell 06.07.13 at 1:46 pm ET
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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.

Daugavins skated as the third-line left winger during the Bruins morning skate and appears set to fill that role as the Bruins and Penguins face off at TD Garden Friday night.

“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.”

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Read More: Claude Julien, Gregory Campbell, Kaspars Daugavins, Torey Krug
Don Cherry on D&C: Brad Marchand ‘no pest’ at 12:15 pm ET
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Hockey Night in Canada analyst Don Cherry checked in with Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Cherry already is looking forward to a Bruins-Blackhawks Stanley Cup finals.

“Every guy on that team has an edge, and they play with an edge, the Bruins,” Cherry said. “I don’t know when they get on against Chicago and that. But I know one thing, boy, they’re playing smoking now. And when Chicago wins — and they’re going to win, too — that’s going to be a bang-up series. Chicago doesn’t hit — I know I’m jumping ahead a little here — but they’d better be ready because it’s going to be a tough series for them. There’s a few guys on Chicago that I think you’re going to hear footsteps.”

Cherry credited Claude Julien with using a more cautious strategy in overtime of Game 3.

“One thing I’ve never seen before in the playoffs or any time: Everybody, when you get in the OT, you always say attack, get it over with quick, attack, attack, get it in the first five minutes. The Bruins, if you watch, they had five guys back. I’ve never seen it before. They had five guys back, waiting for them to come, sitting and waiting for a break. I’ve never seen that before. And they got the break when [Jaromir] Jagr took the puck off [Evgeni] Malkin, and they went in. ‘€¦ You watch, just before the goal, they were back at the red line, waiting for a break. Boy, it really paid off, I’ll tell you.”

Brad Marchand has received accolades for his aggressive play and clutch offense but also criticism for delivering some cheap shots to Penguins players. Cherry defended the young winger.

“He’s not a pest,” Cherry said. “A pest is a guy that will get you about three or four goals, or five or six goals, that will go around jabbing guys and stuff like that. This guy is above all that because he can score goals. He’s what you call a good player that goes around looking for trouble, causes disturbances and that. ‘€¦ You just can’t call him a pest or dirty or anything like that, he’s too good a player for that. He’s above that stuff. He’s just a good, honest, hard player that can score goals. That’s the why I look at it. He’s no pest.”

Gregory Campbell has become a cult hero for playing with a broken leg after blocking a shot on the penalty kill in the second period of Game 3.

“There’s no other sport in the world [in which] a guy will play with a broken leg. ‘€¦ That’s the spirit of the Bruins,” Cherry said.

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

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