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mb financial Features

Campbell's return boosts Hawks in different ways

Friday, 05.21.2010 / 5:45 PM / Features
By Phil Coffey  - NHL.com Editorial Director
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Campbell\'s return boosts Hawks in different ways
Brian Campbell\'s return to the Chicago lineup has paid off in more ways then you might think. And Chris Pronger squashed the notion no one remembers No. 2.


Heading into play Friday night, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell had 2 assists in 11 games this postseason.

At first glance, you might think that's underwhelming for a player who joined the Hawks with great fanfare in 2008. But that's at the first glance. Remember, Campbell is coming back from a broken collarbone suffered when he was driven into the end boards by Alex Ovechkin that caused him to miss the final 14 games of the regular season and the start of the playoffs.

More important than Campbell's offensive game this postseason has been the help he has provided to the rest of the lineup thanks to his speed and puck-carrying skills.

"His addition to the rush and his pace to the game and joining the offensive zone really gives our team some speed and more puck possession," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told Tim Sassone of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald. "We really noticed his addition when we got him in Game 4 in Nashville. It turned the series around for us with his energy and pace. It was a big boost for our team, and the timing of when we got him back couldn't have been better."

Another benefit not to be overlooked by Campbell's return is that Dustin Byfuglien was able to return to his role as a power forward and has been an integral part of Chicago's success on the top line since.

They are who we thought they were -- Remember Dennis Green having that meltdown moment when his Arizona Cardinals lost to the Chicago Bears a few years back?

Well, Sharks GM Doug Wilson said much the same thing about the Chicago Blackhawks this week, albeit in a much calmer manner.

"They're so similar to Detroit," Wilson told reporters. "We thought the two best teams we faced all year were Chicago and Detroit, after they got all their guys healthy. Detroit has Datsyuk and Zetterberg -- well, Toews and Kane are just younger versions of that. Detroit has Holmstrom, Chicago has Byfuglien. … Detroit probably has the best defense corps in the League.

"We just have to replicate what we did against Detroit."

Well Said I -- "I don't find (Dave Bolland) very irritating. I find him very easy to play. I'm a pretty big guy and he's a little guy, so I don't find it too difficult at all." -- San Jose's Joe Thornton, firing a shot across the bow of Chicago's Dave Bolland.

Well Said II -- "I think in this locker room, we got a lot of talent in here. No one gets to include themselves in a group like that until you win something. Like I say, that's what we're working on here. That's the most important thing. People remember certain individuals, but they certainly remember the teams that are special and that win championships. That would be the coolest thing to be part of." -- Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews


Author: Phil Coffey | NHL.com Sr. Editorial Director