Campbell not worried about reception in San Jose

Campbell.jpgBrian Campbell will be making an extended return to the home of the
San Jose Sharks over the next two weeks, but this time he’s not worried
about the reception he’ll receive from the fans.

“I didn’t like
it my first time back,” Campbell told David Pollack of the San Jose
Mercury-News,
but this time he’s prepared for what may happen:

“But then I talked with people who have been through that before,”
Campbell added, “and I think sometimes it’s a sign of appreciation that
they’re disappointed I wasn’t there anymore. I think you try to turn
everything into compliments in some sort of way, or positives. Maybe I’m
wrong, maybe I’m right, but I’ll look at it that way.”

Sharks fans weren’t very happy with Campbell, when the team gave up
Steve Bernier and a first-round draft pick for him at the 2008 trade
deadline only to see him vacate in free agency just a few months later.

That’s always the risk you take when trading for a pending
unrestricted free agent, and Campbell says he was always up front with
the team as to his desires once the season was over.

“They were aware of my situation,” said Campbell, who wanted to play
closer to his Southern Ontario roots. “I was up front with them the
whole time. It is what it is and I have nothing bad to say about the
city or management or anything. The organization’s first class and it’s a
great place to be.”

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    PHT Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby eyes more history

    TAMPA, FL - MAY 24:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks to face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 24, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
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    PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

    Bob McKenzie shares his memories of Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie, who apparently was a big hockey fan. (TSN)

    Don Cherry discusses John Brophy’s toughness after the former Leafs coach recently passed away. (Sportsnet)

     

    A look at Vincent Lecavalier‘s career. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

    The perils of flip-flopping goalies in the playoffs … although it worked out for the Penguins at least last night. (The Hockey News)

    Speaking of which, will the Blues get burned for switching back to Brian Elliott in Game 6 tonight? Here’s a preview:

    Sidney Crosby has a chance to join a very rare club of clutch goal-scorers if he can win it for Pittsburgh in Game 7:

    Pens coach praises Murray: ‘He doesn’t get rattled’

    8 Comments

    Hot take: the Pittsburgh Penguins probably won’t deal with a goalie controversy going into Game 7.

    (Ugh, that’s a failed hot take … you can’t use “probably” in those things, right?)

    Matt Murray was fantastic at times during Game 6, much like his counterpart in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s net in a 5-2 win. Granted, there were some tense moments during the Bolts’ late-game push:

    Much has been made about experience, especially from those calling for Marc-Andre Fleury earlier in this series. It’s telling that the praise Murray draws sure sounds like what you’d expect from a “veteran.”

    “He has a calming influence,” Sullivan said. “He doesn’t get rattled. If he lets a goal in, he just continues to compete. That’s usually an attribute that usually takes years to acquire that, and to have it at such a young age is impressive.”

    Thanks in part to Murray’s efforts in Game 6, he’ll get a chance to prove his resolve in something new: a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.

    Once again, his teammates seem pretty confident in this elimination situation.

    Lightning lament Game 6 effort, Cooper doesn’t blame disallowed goal

    8 Comments

    The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to sleepwalk through the first two periods of Game 6, and waking up in the final frame wasn’t enough to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    On the bright side, at least the Lightning aren’t in denial about that weak first 40 minutes.

    It seemed like everyone on the team more or less admitted as much in unison.

    Brian Boyle added that he felt like the Lightning tiptoed around this game. Jon Cooper often provides great quips, yet he was pretty matter-of-fact in this case.

    Many will linger on this disallowed goal for Jonathan Drouin, which would have provided a 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay in the first period.

    Let’s face it; that moment came pretty early in the game. To Tampa Bay’s credit, they’re not pinning the loss on that setback.

    Now they must set their sights on competing throughout Game 7 … and maybe earning some bounces of their own in the process.

    Read more about Game 6 here.

    Penguins force Game 7 after holding off Lightning rally

    31 Comments

    The Pittsburgh Penguins played with fire late in Game 6, but they also showed plenty of fire in beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2.

    With that, this thrilling Eastern Conference Final will go the distance with Game 7 on Thursday.

    There are at least a few “What if?” scenarios to consider, especially for the Lightning.

    What if that offside goal counted?

    Jonathan Drouin played some fantastic hockey on Tuesday, yet his most memorable moment came via something that ultimately “didn’t happen.” An offside call on a goal review kept a 1-0 lead from happening for Tampa Bay:

    Instead, the Penguins poured it on during the first period and eventually went up 1-0. They then carried that momentum over through the second period, adding two more goals to go up 3-0 heading into the final frame.

    What if Tampa Bay played more like they did in the third period?

    The difference between the level of play in the first 40 minutes and the final frame were night-and-day.

    Now, you can make a chicken-and-the-egg argument here. Did the Penguins take their feet off the gas with that lead? Maybe Jon Cooper finally unleashed the hounds when the Lightning were facing a big deficit?

    Maybe it’s a combination of those factors; either way, the Bolts couldn’t come all the way back even after making it interesting. At one point the game was 3-2 before a Bryan Rust breakaway goal and an empty-netter put things out of reach.

    Both Matt Murray and Andrei Vasilevskiy faced plenty of tough chances and came through more often than not. We’ll see if there are any goal controversy rumblings, but each netminder came through at times tonight.

    ***

    Now the series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 7 with a Stanley Cup Final on the line. Excited and/or nervous yet?

    More: Great goals by Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel.