Gregory Campbell earned his place in Bruins history with a herculean effort last season. He played for nearly a minute on a broken leg while the Bruins were on the penalty kill against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Campbell has been part of the ‘Merlot Line’ for the past few seasons, and has brought a good combination of speed and spunk to the Bruins fourth line. We’re going to break down Campbell’s overall performance this year and see what is in store for him next season in Boston.
In the 2013-14 season, Campbell put up twenty one points (eight goals) as a member of the Black and Gold. His plus/minus ended up on the positive side with a +3, and he accrued seventy four minutes in penalties. Comapred to the rest of his professional career, this season marks his third best season overall and his second best as a Bruin. Campbell remained injury free this year and played in all eighty two games this year. It was his second consecutive year where he played in every game in the regular season. He hit the six hundred games played milestone this year (making him the sixth father-son duo to hit that mark).
Campbell is a consistent, but not flashy player. Thankfully, the current system under Claude Julien does not require him to be a goal-scoring powerhouse. He’s certainly no grinder either. He put in his time on the penalty kill scoring one short handed goal this season. He also put in two game winners this season. While his Corsi stats aren’t very favorable (in fact, he’s the lowest on the Bruins team), there is a lot more to be said about a player’s performance than what a stat sheet says.
Unless a few things fall exactly into place this season, it’s pretty safe to say we’ve seen the last of the Merlot Line. Shawn Thornton will likely not survive free agency, and will likely move on to another team. Daniel Paille will likely move up to the third line to support the new “How Swede It Is” combination of Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson. Gregory Campbell will need to have a strong training camp to avoid falling into the role that has been occupied by the much maligned Jordan Caron. The role of the thirteenth forward. If that happens, then it’s practically a lock that 2014-15 will be his last year in a Bruins uniform.