Playoff toughness on display

Playoff toughness on display
June 6, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid (54) fights with Washington Capitals center Matt Hendricks (26) during the third period at TD Garden.

(Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Bruins enjoy a 3-0 lead over the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final following Wednesday night’s 2-1 double-overtime victory in Boston:

Now that’s tough: There may be nothing that epitomizes the toughness of hockey players more than the sight of a penalty killer blocking a shot, painfully struggling to get back to his feet, and staying out long enough to complete his shift.

But with a broken leg?

That’s what Bruins forward Gregory Campbell did in the second period Wednesday night [watch and read here] when he blocked a slap shot by Evgeni Malkin and finished his longest shift of the night -- 1 minutes, 42 seconds – by pushing off one leg as he made his way to the bench.

Did we mention Campbell actually took another shift after blocking that shot and returned to the bench just 16 seconds later?  

Today the Bruins announced Campbell will miss the remainder of the playoffs with a fractured right fibula, and you can bet that if the Bruins go on to win their second Stanley Cup in three years, Campbell’s act of bravery will be remembered in Beantown for years to come.

Struggling Sid: Is it me or did Sidney Crosby look like a tired hockey player in Game 3?

Crosby has no goals and no assists and has nine shots in the first three games against the Bruins.

In Game 3 Crosby logged a playoff-high 41 shifts and 35:01 of ice time but managed just three shots on goal.

Although it’s rarely mentioned, Crosby’s broken jaw prevented him from eating solid foods for several weeks and his weight loss could be affecting his play against the relentless forecheck of the Bruins.

Hendricks as a Ranger? In case you missed it, New York Post beat writer Larry Brooks wrote recently that the Rangers could use a “jagged-edged center” like Matt Hendricks, who is scheduled to become a UFA on July 5. [Brooks gives the Caps some locker room decorating ideas as well]. The Rangers already have fourth liners Arron Asham, Kris Newbury, Darroll Powe and Taylor Pyatt under contract for next season, so it remains to be seen if there is room for Hendricks.

But just the thought of seeing him in a Rangers sweater should make Caps fans cringe.

Happy for Jagr? Since we’re on the subject of Capitals becoming Rangers, how do you feel about Jaromir Jagr attempting to raise the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1992?

Are you pulling for the 41-year-old former Cap? Or rooting against him?

Tippet on the market?: Mark Messsier and Wayne Gretzky have emerged as candidates to replace John Tortorella in New York, but don’t expect the Rangers to move quickly, especially with Dave Tippet still in limbo in Phoenix.

Tippet’s contract with the Coyotes expires at the end of June and he is waiting for some resolution with team ownership before he commits to re-signing with the club.

"I haven't thought about moving yet," Tippett told the Arizona Republic. “If Phoenix offers me a contract and it looks like we're going to keep moving in the right direction, then I'll look at it.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the Coyotes. With Tippet’s future uncertain, don’t be surprised if the Stars, Canucks and Rangers hold off on naming a coach until next month. If Tippet is available he’ll earn a big payday.

Kings comeback? With Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith suspended for tonight’s Game 4 against the Kings, are the defending Stanley Cup champions ready to even the Western Conference Final with a win tonight in Chicago?

Kings forward Jeff Carter will play tonight after needing 20 stitches and extensive dental work resulting from Keith’s high stick, but center Mike Richards is still day-to-day with what is believed to be a concussion suffered in Game 1.

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