On the roster sheet, Kaspars Daugavins will replace Gregory Campbell in the Boston Bruins lineup for Game 4 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference final Friday night.
But even though Campbell, who of course is nicknamed Soupy, plays on the Bruins’ fourth line, the reality of replacing him is much different.
Watch: Previewing Game 4 between the Pens and Bruins
“Soup does a lot of things for this hockey team, a lot of things that go unnoticed outside this locker room,” fellow centre Chris Kelly said after the Bruins’ game-day skate. “He’s very versatile, kills penalties, takes faceoffs, sticks up for his teammates and blocks shots, as everyone saw.
“I don’t think one guy is going to be able to go in there and fill Soup’s shoes. It’s going to take everyone.”
Where Campbell, who is out for the rest of the playoffs after he suffered a broken right fibula after blocking a shot in Game 3 on Wednesday night, will be missed the most is on the penalty killing unit. One of the main reasons the Bruins are in position to sweep the Pittsburgh Penguins in the best-of-seven series is their penalty killers have blanked the Pittsburgh power play, the second-best unit in the NHL’s regular season with a 24.7-per-cent success rate. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and company have not managed a power-play goal in 12 opportunities in the series.
Daugavins, 25, whose only appearance in this year’s playoffs was one game in the first round, got the call because of his ability to kill penalties.
“He’s a gritty player, strong on the puck, strong on his skates,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said. “We’ve always said we’ve got depth on this team. It showed when we had injuries [in the regular season] and now he has to step in and do a job.”
In the morning skate, Julien had Kelly skating on the fourth line in Campbell’s spot between Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton. Rich Peverley was moved from left wing on the third line to fill Kelly’s centre spot with Tyler Seguin staying at right wing.
However, Julien, as usual, declined to say that is how the Bruins will start the game.
“As I said before, we’ve got a lot of options,” he said. “Nothing is set in stone.”