"A man is just flesh and blood and can be ignored or destroyed. But as a symbol... as a symbol, I can be incorruptible, everlasting." -- Bruce Wayne.
BOSTON – The Boston Bruins are a franchise drenched in symbolism. The spoked-B for unity. The ferocious bear. The flags waved and passed around in the pregame. The fist-pump from the anthem singer. The novelty jackets handed out to playoff heroes. The ribbons on uniforms.
It was inevitable Gregory Campbell, or rather his broken right fibula, would become another one, after the Bruins forward stood on his busted buttress and finished killing a Pittsburgh Penguins power play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Not just because it was an unforgettable moment of valor from a grunt in the lineup -- the kind whose limited minutes are designed to inspire -- but because it’s the epitome of what hockey players are supposed to embody.
“It might sound naïve of me, but I was just trying to do whatever I could to kill the penalty,” said Campbell on Tuesday, crutches by his side.
“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.”
So Campbell, like Nathan Horton before him in 2011, has become the broken body the Bruins have rallied around – a player who had his playoff dream ended abruptly, but whose spirit continues to motivate his teammates.
“I think same thing, a couple of years ago happened to [Nathan Horton] and every time that someone goes down you always want to play for that player. Right now, Soupy, we know he’s done everything he did to help us get to where we’re at and we always want to make sure that it wasn’t for nothing. So, you want to leave it out there and make sure you give it everything,” said Daniel Paille, Campbell’s former linemate who scored the opening goal in their Game 3 victory.Read More »from Gregory Campbell and hockey’s unending need for symbolic inspiration