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Campbell Wowed By Nomination

Tuesday, 11.14.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Campbell Wowed By Nomination
Stepping off the flight home from Carolina, Brian Campbell's life probably couldn't have gotten much better. The Buffalo Sabres were sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings with 31 points in just 17 games and had just departed the RBC Center with the team's 10th consecutive road victory, a 7-4 thrashing of the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

Then Campbell received the shock of a lifetime as his foot hit the tarmac. Once on stable ground, Buffalo's veteran equipment manager Rip Simonick broke the news to the 27-year-old defenseman that his name would be appearing on the NHL's All-Star Ballot on Wednesday.

"It's weird," said Campbell when asked about the nomination. "It's a nice feeling and a nice honor, but I'm kind of like, 'wow.'"

"I just don't see myself in that category."

Campbell shouldn't have been too surprised by the nod, as he has excelled in both the offensive and defensive zones.

Only one of four Buffalo defensemen who has appeared in every game for the Sabres this season, Campbell's 12 assists are tied for league lead among defensemen with Bryan McCabe of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chris Pronger of the Anaheim Ducks and Andrei Markov of the Montreal Canadiens.

While Campbell has always been labeled an offensive defenseman, his play in the defensive zone is where he has shown the most improvement. The Strathroy, Ontario native ranks second among blueliners with a plus-11 rating, while four-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings leads the league with a plus-17.

Campbell's current plus/minus rating is a 25-point improvement from 2005-06 when he finished a minus-14.

"The challenge for Brian after the year was over was that we wanted to make him a plus defenseman," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. "It was the one area that we told him we wanted him to be better at and be more responsible. You look at those numbers now coupled with his offensive numbers, and he's right behind some of the elite defensemen in the league."

Much like Campbell, Ruff hadn't seen the All-Star ballot as of Tuesday morning. His reaction when hearing of Buffalo's six nominations - Campbell, Maxim Afinogenov, Daniel Briere, Chris Drury, Ryan Miller and Henrik Tallinder - mirrored that of his defenseman.

"That's awesome," said Ruff, who was obviously proud of his players. "I'm glad [Campbell's] on it. Brian has played just tremendously for us."

"It was very well deserved."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82