BOSTON – On media day at TD Garden yesterday, Bruins defenseman Steven Kampfer admitted his injured left knee was feeling better but still sore.
What might be even more sore is Kampfer’s relationship with those ever-pesky “hockey gods.”
Kampfer, who suffered a sprained MCL in the Bruins’ preseason game last Friday against Ottawa, lost the competition for the seventh defenseman spot by default once he was ruled out two to four weeks. It was all too reminiscent of the injury Kampfer suffered to the other knee last April, when he was skating on a conditioning assignment with Boston’s Providence (AHL) farm club. Kampfer was healthy enough to play until the later stages of the Bruins’ Stanley Cup championship run and he never made it into a game.
“First thing that popped up in my head was, ‘oh no, not again.’ It’s the other knee but to sit there and I guess to go through it once on the other knee, I know what to expect,” said Kampfer, who also explained that the sprain diagnosis was better than he initially feared. “I know kind of the timetable and everything like that. But this one not being as severe as the last one, it’s definitely easier to cope with this time, to know that if things keep progressing the way that they are, then I’ll get back on the ice when I’m 100 percent.”
So the Bruins will be open with Matt Bartkowski serving as, at least, their seventh D. Kampfer’s game had recently turned a corner and head coach Claude Julien lauded the second-year blueliner’s play in the latter stages of the preseason schedule. Kampfer now has to hope that the late start to his season won’t keep him down over the course of the rest of the campaign.
“Stuff happens in hockey. You can’t change that,” he said. “It’s part of the game, injuries happen. But I think as far as my camp was going, I think my game was really starting to come around. I was starting to play well. I was really trying to make a push here. So I think when I get back, I’ve got to go off the same foot that I was on. It’s something that I guess will be a challenge to me when I get back because you want to come back, you want to be 100 percent, you don’t want to be fighting for three weeks to get back to speed. You want to hit it and go.”