With Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins tied 1-1 midway through the second period, Campbell laid on the ice for a few seconds before mustering the strength to get back on his skates and continue killing the remainder of Boston's too-many-men penalty.
It was a courageous play by Campbell, who grimaced and hobbled through the last 45 seconds of his shift before gliding over to the Boston bench, doubled over in pain. After the Bruins won Game 3 in double overtime, 2-1, to take a 3-0 series lead Boston's players dedicated the victory to Campbell and his never-say-die effort. It was revealed Thursday he had completed that shift with a broken leg.
Boston's players weren't the only people in the hockey world who appreciated Campbell's gritty play.
The day after the heroic turn, some players in the Los Angeles Kings locker room were buzzing about the play as they prepared for Game 4 of their Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.
"It's crazy that you hear about a broken leg after and he finishes his shift," Kings forward Colin Fraser said. "We certainly know about him. It's unfortunate to have an injury like that. He doesn't want to be hurt like that and neither does his team. It's crazy, but he's a hockey player."
As word of his effort spread, tributes to Campbell poured in on Twitter.
"Wow. Campbell plays full minute on broken leg. Always respected him, even more now," Asham tweeted before adding the hashtag "#warrior."
It wasn't just current NHL players who were impressed by Campbell's feats. A number of younger NHL prospects turned to Twitter to remark on the play.
With Campbell's season now over due to the injury, more tributes having been coming in on Twitter.
Here is a sample of some of them:
Wow Campbell plays full minute on broken leg always respected him even more now #warrior
— Arron Asham (@TheRealAsham45) June 6, 2013
Remember Gregory Campbells shift EVERYTIME you see a player holding his face or flopping around on the ice waiting to be rescued by Trainer
— Dallas Eakins (@dallaseakins) June 6, 2013
Broken leg. Torn ligaments > Mere flesh wounds in post season. #blackknightsonthebridge #becauseitsthecup
— Daryl Reaugh (@Razor5Hole) June 6, 2013
Holy crap that last RT. With a broken leg, Gregory Campbell not only finished his shift, but TWICE got back in the shooting lane.
— Patrick Burke (@BurkieYCP) June 6, 2013
Lebron: Can't play because of a bruise. Soccer players: everything hurts them. Campbell: breaks leg and tries to block more shots #hockey
— Scott Mayfield (@scottmayfield2) June 6, 2013
Campbell is an animal. Tries to block more shots with a broken leg #teamonmyback
— Kevin Roy (@Roy_K15) June 6, 2013
Crazy respect for Gregory Campbell continuing to play on a broken leg till the Bruins iced the pick #warrior #becauseitsthecup
— derek sheppard (@d_sheppard6) June 6, 2013
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