B’s Head Coach Claude Julien has not yet officially ruled out captain Zdeno Chara
from Tuesday night’s contest against the Los Angeles Kings, however there is a good chance that defenseman Stephen Kampfer will return to the line-up while the B’s captain recovers from a lower-body injury.
“We don’t definitely know what the whole thing is on [Chara], so I’ve just got to prepare like any other day,” said Kampfer. “Come to the rink [ready] in case you’re going to get called on.”
Although the 23-year-old blueliner hasn’t dressed for Boston since November 17th, he has been working hard each day in practice in the knowlege that he could be called to suit up at any time.
“You need to prepare in case somebody does get hurt or something happens that you can go in and it’s almost a seamless transition,” explained Kampfer.
To stay on his toes and remain ready for a seamless transition, Kampfer took some good advice from his coach a few weeks ago.
“I had a talk with Claude there and he was telling me how practices need to be your game,” said Kampfer.
The former University of Michigan Wolverine has been following that advice day-in and day-out and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“He’s worked really hard,” said the B’s Head Coach. “We’ve done some extra with him in practice, kept him in the best shape possible.”
While maintaining a high level of conditioning, Kampfer and his coach have also recognized parts of his game that have improved this season.
“I’m moving my feet more,” he said. “Definitely the skating aspect of the game helps.”
“He’s a player that skates really well and he can move the puck when he feels good,” added Julien, who wants to see #47 play with confidence.
“He can’t go out and be afraid of making mistakes," explained Julien. “You’ve just got to go out there and play...and if you’re afraid of making a mistake, you’re going to make a mistake.”
Kampfer agreed with his coach’s philosophy.
“You’ve just got to go play your game,” said Kampfer. “You’ve got to play solid, good hockey.”