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Patrice Bergeron still has ‘lingering issues’ from his injuries 09.11.13 at 5:19 pm ET
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No one could’ve expected Patrice Bergeron to be back at 100 percent so soon.

As it turns out, Bergeron himself admitted Wednesday that he’s still dealing with some aches and pains from the multitude of injuries he sustained in order to help the Bruins try to win the Stanley Cup in late June.

He was back in front of his locker Wednesday for the start of training camp and even passed the conditioning test that allows him to take part in full practices with his team.

To recap, Bergeron suffered a separated shoulder, broken rib, torn rib cage cartilage and, most serious of all, a punctured lung between Games 5 and 6 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Blackhawks.

To see him back on Wednesday for the start of training camp was a great sign but as Claude Julien cautioned later, he still hasn’t been cleared for preseason games.

“If I feel fine in the first couple of practices, and I feel like I can bang around and play physical in the 1-on-1 stuff on the ice, I’ll pretty much feel like I’ll be ready to get going and move forward,” Bergeron said, before acknowledging that he still has to be cautious early on in camp. “I guess the next couple of days will really tell me where I stand with the lingering issues.”

This summer, Bergeron spent most of his time rehabbing instead of traditional training.

“Honestly, I’ve been able to do most of my workouts,” Bergeron said. “It just took me more time to start that and get that going. So, I was doing a lot of rehab early on and after that it was more issues with core and reaching out on my sides too much so I’m not doing too many core exercises and stay away from that as much as possible but otherwise, I was able to do pretty much everything.”

And when he wasn’t rehabbing, he was busy getting married to his longtime girlfriend Stephanie Bertrand.

“It went well,” Bergeron said. “It was a fun day and everything went well.”

Bergeron and Gregory Campbell became icons for Boston sports in the spring when both played through remarkable pain to help the Bruins in the playoffs. Bergeron heard a lot of praise over the summer and offered perspective on it on Wednesday.

“I’ve been told that a few times and to be honest, I’ve talked to Soupy a couple of times already about it,” Bergeron said. “We don’t feel like it was anything special, anything extraordinary to be honest with you. We felt like we were just trying to do our job. Same thing for me, I was just trying to be out there and help the team as much as possible on the ice. I’m 100 percent positive that all the guys would’ve done the same thing, especially late in the season in the finals like that. You want to be out there, helping your teammates out.”

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Claude Julien: Patrice Bergeron and Gregory Campbell ‘cleared’ for practice, not games yet at 1:02 pm ET
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On the first day of training camp, Bruins coach Claude Julien announced what would likely be considered good news by all Bruins followers.

Patrice Bergeron and Gregory Campbell both passed their conditioning drills and have been cleared for full practice with the team. Bergeron suffered a punctured lung, a broken rib, a separated shoulder and damaged cartilage at the end of the Stanley Cup finals in late June. Campbell suffered a broken right leg blocking a slap shot from Evgeni Malkin in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

“They’re going to practice with us, they’re going to be on the ice,” Julien announced Wednesday afternoon during his first full press conference of camp. “When it comes time to play those exhibition games, it’ll be obviously a conversation again with our trainers, making sure that if they’re going to play, there’s not a risk factor.”

The Bruins open their seven-game preseason next Monday night in Montreal against the Canadiens, and it’s unlikely either player would be ready to play, though Julien did leave some wiggle room on Wednesday.

“Right now, I would tell you that they would not be cleared to play a game if we started today but that might chance in the upcoming day or in a week from now,” Julien said. “They can practice with the team. It’s just about playing in an exhibition game.”

Julien also confirmed that everyone who took the conditioning test on Wednesday passed. Julien said he took the excellent conditioning of his team as a sign of where they’re at as a group.

“I don’t think I’m going to need time in camp to assess [conditioning or mentality],” Julien said. “I feel it right now. I think our group is in the right place. I like the feeling of our hockey club right now. These tests today just kind of solidified what I thought. Guys are in great shape. It would’ve been easy guys, after finishing so late, to just kind of shut ‘er down for the summer. But they’ve kept themselves in great and they look excited to get off to a new start here.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Gregory Campbell, Montreal Canadiens
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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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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