Gregory Campbell

Julien, Campbell talk ‘blue-collar’ Bruins


It may be cliché by now — talking about the Boston Bruins and the “blue-collar” work ethic that’s been so successful for them — but there’s no doubt it remains a huge part of their identity.

“We take pride in being a blue-collar team,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien on Tuesday, the day after his team took a 2-1 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final.

“We don’t care about calling certain guys superstars on our team. We all want to be on the same level.”

Julien was actually responding to a question about Bruins forward Gregory Campbell, who famously broke his leg blocking a shot, and kept playing, in the Eastern Conference finals versus Pittsburgh.

Campbell, on crutches, spoke to the media today as well.

“I’m not going to put myself in front of anybody else and say I’m the picture of the Bruins,” he said when asked by a reporter about becoming “the symbol” of the team.

“This Original Six organization, goes back a long way. It kind of represents the city, a blue-collar, hard-working city with honest people.”

Campbell, in similarly humble fashion, also put the play that ended his season into proper perspective (something that was perhaps lost by some observers), explaining that “your adrenaline’s going pretty good at that point. You’re stuck on the ice with a couple of the best players in the world. You really don’t have much time to think about anything else but trying to help out and kill a penalty.”

He added: “There’s a lot of tough guys in this league. A lot of players are willing to do whatever they can to win. At this point you see that more often, guys doing whatever they can to win. I’m no different than anyone else on these two teams in the playoffs. I was just trying to finish the play and do my job.”

Game 4 of the Cup final goes Wednesday at TD Garden, where the B’s have won seven straight in the playoffs.

Related: Bruins go ‘above and beyond’ to take 2-1 series lead

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.