Bruins head coach Claude Julien has a handful of stars on his roster, but these players, first and foremost, are teammates.
They’re hockey players, nothing more and nothing less, and they come together to form a very successful team. Call any individual player a superstar and you wouldn’t be wrong — you just wouldn’t be right.
There’s a star in every sweaty, blood-stained corner of the locker room — perhaps not in All-Star voting standards, but in Boston’s blue-collar standards, and Julien wouldn’t want it any other way. Guys like Gregory Campbell, who “exemplifies a lot of what [the Bruins] are all about,” are the reason why this team is up 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Final.
“We take pride in being a blue-collar team,” Julien told the media on Tuesday afternoon. “We don’t care about calling certain guys superstars on our team. We all want to be on the same level. There’s no doubt there’s great players on our hockey club.”
The B’s made quick work of some of the game’s biggest superstars this postseason. From Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Bruins took down teams that had arguably the most talented players in the game. But a few talented players doesn’t make up a team.
As seen in 2011, the B’s have bagged playoff wins in bunches because they’re out-teaming opponents. They not only roll out four lines each game, but they rely on and expect the offense’s bottom six to perform as both role players and playmakers, as seen in the current series. While Bostonians sure knew this, the hockey world needed Campbell to break a bone in his leg to understand how important depth is and why the region puts so much love and respect into a few guys calling themselves a certain type of wine.
“We make sure that the role players are just as important as the guys that are more visible to the media and to our fans as far as being the limelight of our hockey club,” Julien explained. “That’s how we’ve always been.
“You’ve seen it in the times where guys a few years ago had that jacket, now a different one this year,” he added. “It’s moved around our team for different reasons. It just goes to show how we appreciate everything. I guess [the jacket] would be more of our symbol versus just one guy.”