Brian Campbell makes every other Panther on the ice better. Even between shifts. The story here, lies within his ability to blend offense and defense, into an effective strategy; that is earning the Florida Panthers valuable points in the standings.
Through a combination of deception, awareness, and talent; Brian Campbell makes the Panthers‘ strategy indistinguishable. As if it were soup.
The Florida Panthers are starting to finally get some acknowledgement for their recent efforts. Some of that praise was on display the other night on NHL on the Fly, on the NHL Network. Where Craig Button had a large amount of well deserved compliments to bestow on Campbell.
Brian Campbell is the kind of player you can build an organization around. Panthers GM Dale Tallon knew that when he brought him to South Florida. That move brought credibility which allowed Tallon and Assistant GM Mike Santos to bring in other talented players. Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann, and many other players; wanted to come resurrect success in South Florida. This interview with Campbell sums this up.
Deception comes from Campbell’s ability to play strong defensively, while still being a very dangerous offensive threat. That only in the most simplistic form. The more complicated deception lies in his interaction with his teammates, especially his defensive partner Jason Garrison. If you have gotten the chance to see the Panthers in action this season, in almost every game, you have gotten a chance to see the sheer power of Garrison’s slap shot. Garrison leads every defenseman in the NHL with 7 goals, one more than Detroit Red Wings‘ captain Nicklas Lidstrom. Campbell helped on many of those, which has resulted in Campbell leading all defenseman in scoring; with 18 points. Campbell has a plus/minus rating of +4 with his 2 goals and 16 assists.
However, while fans have been admiring the show, opponents have been watching tape of it; to know its coming. There is a distinct roar from many fans in the crowd when the puck comes back to the point onto Campbell‘s stick and Garrison winds his stick into the air in anticipation. While you might think this means the fun is over, don’t count Campbell and Garrison out. Using the vail of deception, they are making it work. So well in fact, that Garrison fed Campbell a one timer during the Panthers home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Being unpredictable is the best weapon anyone can have. This display won’t be over anytime soon.
Awareness is very important on the ice. Not just to make plays, but for safety reasons, especially with all of the recent injuries including concussions. Brian Campbell knows that, especially after Alexander Ovechkin boarded him last March, when Campbell was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. Brian Campbell makes great plays happen with his awareness. Take for example, his goal to open the scoring in favor of the Panthers, Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Penguins forward Chris Kunitz, had a lapse in his own awareness; you might say he fell asleep. Campbell snuck in behind him and recieved a pass from Kris Versteeg in the slot. A nifty backhand move later, a tumble to the ice, and up popped Campbell with his second goal of the season.
If the above hasn’t spoken enough about the talent that Campbell possesses, come on out to the BankAtlantic Center tonight at 7:30, as the New Jersey Devils will try to peer through the soup.
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