NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell will be in attendance when the Boston Bruins host the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night at TD Garden to ensure the game does not get out of hand.
Because the last time these two teams played on March 7 in Pittsburgh, Penguins’ Matt Cooke issued a hit on the Bruins’ Marc Savard that resulted in a Grade 2 concussion. Savard is likely lost for the remainder of the season, while Cooke was not suspended for the hit.
Campbell appeared on NHL Live Wednesday afternoon and spent almost 15 minutes talking with hosts Rob Simpson and Stan Fischler about the league’s attempt to crack down on hits to the head.
Simpson, a former Bruins rink side reporter for NESN, asked Campbell why he would be attending Thursday’s game in Boston, and where he would be sitting.
“I’ll be sitting on the Boston bench,” Campbell joked.
“Anytime we have things like this, we do some things to ensure that hopefully things don’t get out of hand, and they do what they have to do and keep things civil,” added Campbell.
Is that possible?
The Bruins have received a ton of backlash for not retaliating on Cooke after the hit on Savard. Campbell will likely speak with each team and coaches before Thursday’s game.
In another reflection of the league’s concern over what might happen Thursday night, a veteran officiating crew has been assigned to work the game: referees
Stephen Walkom and Bill McCreary and linesmen Brian Murphy and Tony Sericolo.
Walkom is a former NHL director of officiating and McCreary is one of the longest-tenured refs in the league.
Last updated: Thursday, March 18, 10:30 a.m.