The Stanley Cup playoffs bring out a seemingly inhuman level of competitiveness from hockey players. They skate, hit, shoot and work a great deal harder than you ever see during the regular season. Granted, this phenomenon happens in all sports, but never is it more obvious than in hockey.
During the second period of last night’s double-overtime thriller between then Pittsburgh and Boston, Bruins center Gregory Campbell layed down to block Evengi Malkin’s shot.
Laying out to block a shot isn’t that unusual move, but the level of danger in the way Campbell did it was. Malkin notoriously has one of the hardest and most accurate shots in the NHL. Campbell didn’t have time to lay down and then turn away from the shot, as players try to do. His legs were still swinging toward Malkin as he lined up, and his momentum took his right shin directly into the line of the Penguin star’s slap shot.
The shot snapped his right fibula. Campbell will miss the rest of the playoffs.
That didn’t stop Campbell from getting up off the ice and finishing his shift. While skating on a broken leg.
The NHL’s slogan at this time of the year is “Because it’s the cup.” It refers to the fearlessness players approach the the playoffs, and the utter disregard they treat their bodies.
It appears the NHL’s marketing department has a new poster boy in Gregory Campbell.