| ||Gregory Campbell was back at practice Tuesday at incredibleIce after taking that wicked slapshot to the face Saturday night in Washington. Wearing a clear mask and playing with a broken nose and a stitched lip, Campbell played alongside Dominic Moore (wearing a cage due to nasal surgery) and Radek Dvorak.
“Devo said he’s willing to put one (cage) on so all three of us have one,” Campbell said with a smile.
Campbell said while the clear mask “isn’t the most comfortable thing,” he admits he might consider playing with a shield in the future. Campbell suffered a broken nose and split lip Saturday and also had some teeth pushed back on the left side of his face. He already has some plates on that side after having a puck deflect up into his face while playing several years ago in San Antonio.
Campbell, who had 32 points last season (13 goals), has struggled this year with only one assist, but he isn’t feeling sorry for himself. “When things aren’t going your way personally, you have to focus on being a good team player,” he said.
Coach Peter DeBoer said he isn’t worried about Campbell’s numbers. “He hasn’t had the start he wanted but to his credit, the last five, six games, he’s starting to do what he did last year….He’s blocking shots, finishing hits, getting to the net…he’ll eventually get rewarded.”
When asked if getting hit Saturday was more salt to the wound, Campbell replied; “Not at all. It could have been worse. That’s how I look at it.”
LOTS OF GAMES, LOTS OF BODIES
With 24 games beginning Thursday in Boston in the next 42 days, the Panthers spent what was their last practice day Tuesday on the ice for approximately 90 minutes. “Our schedule for the next four, five weeks is four games a week,” DeBoer said. “We have very little practice time during that stretch, so this is the last couple days going into those five weeks of games to get some stuff done. The guys know the stretch of games ahead of us and the challenge ahead of us.”