BOSTON -- It has been almost two weeks since Bruins forward Gregory Campbell broke his right leg blocking a shot and remained on the ice for nearly a minute to help his team kill off a power play, a gutsy display that will forever stand out in this Stanley Cup playoff run.
"I feel good," Campbell said Tuesday in his first public comments since the injury and subsequent surgery. "I mean it's been eight or nine days. I had the surgery a week ago Monday. Obviously naturally you have that progression where there's a little bit of pain coming out of surgery. But everybody did a great job, treated me extremely well. The pain subsided very quickly. There's not much I can do at this point, just kind of let it heal."
The injury occurred June 5 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a game the Bruins ultimately won, 2-1, in double overtime.
Campbell said that his recovery time is projected to be six to eight weeks and that he should be ready for training camp.
Just how much pain was he in after getting drilled by the Evgeni Malkin shot?
"I mean, it hurt a little bit," Campbell said Tuesday. "It was sore. But your adrenaline's going pretty good at that point. You're stuck on the ice with a couple of the best players in the world. You really don't have much time to think about anything else but trying to help out and kill a penalty."
Campbell also said that he knew something was different about the pain he was feeling, but was not certain he had a broken leg at the time.
"I've got asked that a few times: 'Did you know it was broken?' You know, I can't say with 100 percent certainty that I knew it was broken," Campbell said. "But I felt like it was a different feeling. I blocked a few shots before. This just seemed different. Then once I was able to get back to my feet, I was not positive, but fairly sure that there was something wrong. I don't have X ray vision, so I didn't know at the time that it was broken for sure. Like I said, it was a different feeling."
For Campbell, the injury itself has been easier to handle than the frustration that comes from not being able to be on the ice to help his teammates try to capture their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.
"The emotional part of it, I mean, we're in the Stanley Cup finals now, and I've been a fan of the game for as long as I can remember," said Campbell, who sported a cast and crutches Tuesday at TD Garden. "I've watched probably every Stanley Cup final there is. It's obviously tough not to play.
"But having said that, I'm extremely proud of my teammates and fortunate to be here, fortunate to have been part of the run that I was on. Now I'm cheering them on pretty loudly."
Bruins head coach Claude Julien praised Campbell for gutting out his last shift, as well as for his overall work ethic.
"Well, I think he exemplifies a lot of what we're all about," Julien said Tuesday prior to Campbell's comments. "I've said it before. We take pride in being a blue-collar team. We don't care about calling certain guys superstars on our team. We all want to be on the same level. But there's no doubt, we're happy to see him. He came in yesterday for the first time since we came back. Not only were the guys happy to see him, but they made him feel very welcome by getting on him shortly after he made his presence in the dressing room."
When asked about that, and the newfound fame he's experienced in the aftermath of his gutsy shift, Campbell instead expressed his gratitude.
"I'm not going to put myself in front of anybody else and say I'm the picture of the Bruins," Campbell said. "This Original Six organization goes back a long way. It kind of represents the city, a blue-collar, hard-working city with honest people. When I got traded to Boston, I thought it was tailor-made to my game the way this team exemplifies the heart and soul of what a hockey player should be made of. I was proud to come to this team and play hard for this team every night.
"There's 18 other guys in that room that would do the same thing, and that's what makes us successful, and makes us a hard team to play against. I'd rather be known for my play other than getting hurt. But, like I said, I just want to play hard for the team and for the players in that room."