Bergeron, Campbell Not 100 Percent, But Not Feeling Out of Place
So when the pair hit the ice with their respective groups for the first day of on-ice sessions at training camp on Thursday at TD Garden, the question was again asked.
But now that they have skated in a structured practice with Head Coach Claude Julien and his staff pushing the B's through their paces, both Bergeron and Campbell have a better idea of where they stand.
For Bergeron, who (as you know) recovered from his broken rib, torn cartilage, collapsed lung and separated shoulder this offseason, he's inching closer to 100 percent.
Last Sunday during Captain's Practices, he began battling along the walls for the first time and felt fine; in the first high-tempo, competitive practice at training camp Thursday, he was right in the thick of battling drills.
He felt tenderness, but it didn't seem to concern the B's alternate captain.
"It wasn't bad - I felt it [discomfort] a couple times in one or two battles, but it doesn't seem to linger after it; it stays for 30 seconds or so and then it goes away so I think it's good news. I'm just going to have to go through it for a couple of weeks, and then it should be fine."
"Medical staff is not worried about it, so I'm not worried about it."
"Honestly, I feel good right now…I think it's just a matter of dealing with that and getting stronger."
That small stings of pain won't set him back; he's confident he'll be fine.
I was curious if he had to tell any of his teammates or the younger guys in the group to not back off when battling.
"It's Training Camp, and everyone's trying to push themselves, so I don't think they thought about it, which is a good thing, so that's what I want to make sure I see where I stand."
While Bergeron hasn't shied away from contact, neither has Gregory Campbell. But, with the screws and plate put in after surgery to repair his right leg in June (after breaking it during the Eastern Conference Finals), the centerman has been getting used to the uncomfortable feeling. The training staff has helped put in padding to ease the discomfort, so it's only a matter of time before it fades away.
"He looked good; he’s skating well, and I don’t think that’s the issue right now with him as far as his skating and all of that," said B's Head Coach Claude Julien, who actually thought the entire Merlot Line of Campbell, Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton looked great on the first day of camp. "It’s more about the contact part of it. You have to make sure it’s healed well enough that it doesn’t fracture itself again."
"You saw there was a little bit of bumping and it’s at that stage where it’s so close. But training camp is where you’re able to be a little bit more cautious. The regular season doesn’t start for almost a month, so it gives him time to recover properly and give our doctors a better feeling of saying ‘we feel confident that he can play now.’"
Conditioning-wise, though, Campbell fit in on the ice.
"It was the first time I participated at that level with a structure like that, so I don't think I was out of place," said Campbell. "That's a good sign and I'll just continue to build."
With Campbell's level of commitment to fitness, however, he doesn't feel like his quickness is right where he wants it to be just yet.
"I think it's just a matter of getting comfortable; every day, I feel more comfortable in the skate and trusting myself to do the things that I want to do and be at the speed that I want to be at," said Campbell, of getting his quickness back. "I don't think it's that I had a late start; I've worked hard to catch up and I'm not that far behind."
"It's just, I have high standards, and it was the first day of camp; so, considering that, I felt pretty good."
"I'm just very critical of myself and how I feel and try to be in tune with my body so I guess, in that sense, I'm just very aware."
"I was trying to push myself to be at the pace practice was at; it was a good pace for the first day so I'm happy with it overall."