Perhaps the most underrated player to ever play in Boston, aside from Daniel Paille is Gregory Campbell. Up until his Eastern Conference Final heroics against the Pittsburgh Penguins, fans barely even acknowledged his existence on the ‘Merlot Line.’ The image of Campbell crouched down on the ice for basically the entire duration of the Bruins penalty kill in game 3 will be an image that he is remembered for for years to come. However, this wasn’t the only time the forward embodied toughness and selflessness throughout the season.
Through 48 games this season Campbell managed to post 13 points, coming close to matching his 2011-2012 totals of 16 points posted in 78 games. Offensively, despite seeing on average 2:15 per shift, he managed to have a fairly decent season. He was successful in getting the puck out of the Bruins zone and end 50% of his shifts in the offensive zone. Despite being a fourth-line center, he went 50.5% of his faceoffs, and proved he was able to fill in for top-six players when they went down with injury throughout the course of the season.
There is never enough praise to give a guy like Campbell who is always willing to step up and be there for his team. In an interview after his postseason injury he stated;
“There are a lot of guys that play through pain. I don’t see myself as different than anybody else in this League,” he said. “I was just trying to finish the play. Do my job.” (via Yahoo! Sports)
While he may have just been doing his job, he symbolizes the mold of what Boston’s organization looks for, the epitome of what hockey players are supposed to do on any given day. Granted he struggled through the regular season to maintain stellar puck possession and only registered 52 shots on net, he did what was needed. He helped lift the Bruins penalty killing unit, finished half of his shifts in the offensive zone and won over half of his faceoffs. All in all, what more could you ask for from your Merlot-line center?
Final Grade: B+