BOSTON — While the pitchforks were out for Bruins head coach Claude Julien after he decided to scratch defenseman Steven Kampfer in front of a legion of family and friends in Detroit Sunday, the rookie took the decision maturely — and even put a positive spin on it.
“It was something we both thought would be helpful. It was a good learning experience,” he said today after the morning skate at TD Garden in preparation for a game with Toronto. “If you’re going to sit out a game, you’d rather have it be with your family. I had the support there. But at the same time, you want to play. I learned a lot, I talked to Claude about it this morning, so I’ll be ready to go tonight.”
Kampfer will likely get to play again tonight, although Julien won’t make his final decision on a D corps until game time.
If a puck-moving defenseman is going to take off a game to watch from the press box, there’s probably no better time to become an observer than with Detroit — featuring Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski — on the ice. Kampfer said he kept a close watch on the 12 defensemen from both squads in order to pick up a few things.
“I’ve got [to show] a sense of urgency and make an easy play where I’d slipped away from that earlier in the season,” he said.
Kampfer said his family understood that in the business of hockey they couldn’t expect him to automatically be in the lineup because it was his homecoming. And he took the scratch as maturely as a 22-year-old could. We’ll find out if he can put what he learned to good use tonight or whenever he gets back into a game.