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Soup's On!

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- When Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien was asked about the leadership in his locker room on Thursday morning, it would have shocked nobody if the names Chara, Recchi, Bergeron and Thornton were the first words to exit his mouth. ANd certainly those were the men Julien was talking about when he said, "You rely on some good leadership and we’ve got those guys that have been pretty good leaders."


Boston Bruins center Gregory Campbell, left, celebrates his goal with teammates Daniel Paille (20) and Adam McQuaid, right rear, during the second period against the New York Islanders in an NHL hockey game in Boston on Wednesday, April 6, 2011. The Bruins won 3-2. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
But Julien clearly had another player in mind when he said, "There is more than that. Leadership is not all about being vocal, it’s about having a presence in the dressing room, it’s about going out there and leading by example."

Gregory Campbell enters this evening without a single minute of playoff hockey on his statline, but during his first regular season with the Black & Gold, the center matched his career high with 13 goals and his second highest point total with 29. Throw in 93 minutes in penalties (thanks in large part to 11 fights) and Campbell has left a distinct impression on Boston after five-plus seasons in Florida.

"I mean I’m not going to lie, I’m excited," said Campbell after the Bruins optional skate this morning. "This is what you play for and it doesn’t happen all the time.

"Especially this rivalry and this series and I’m excited and you can feel the enthusiasm in the dressing room as well."

In light of the legendary Bruins vs. Canadiens rivalry, Campbell was asked if the excitement level could be even higher as the next chapter of the storied match-up is written tonight at TD Garden.

"Possibly, it’s no secret what these two teams have been through, especially this year," he said. "The games leading up to this series obviously have provided some story lines.

"But at the end of the day it’s about winning and that’s our focus."

A consistently quoted player during the regular season, Campbell himself has provided story lines throughout the campaign, but not necessarily because of what he said.

"You look at guys like [Gregory] Campbell, every game he comes in and gives you one hundred percent and those are leadership qualities in my mind," said Julien. "You spread it out a little bit and you don’t just rely on one or two guys to do the job.

"And I think we have a good group of guys that are able to share those responsibilities."

And it sounds like Campbell is excited to continue to shoulder his share of the load as he he heads into his first NHL postseason.

"I think my approach, and our approach, has to be the same," said the center. "I think just kind of relax and play our game, and play my game.

"Nothing has to change."

But Julien said that Campbell and his "merlot" line (including Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton on the wings) might just be difference makers as the series gets into gear.

"Well it’s pretty hard for me to sit here and tell you exactly what we’re going to do with them," said Julien. "What you’re feeling confident about is that you have those guys who have done a good job for us all year and you expect them to keep doing that.

"So there is some depth in our line-up and if certain guys are having a tough night or if there are injuries along the way, you can depend on those guys."

Notes: The B's held an optional practice:43, 34, 19, 35, 23, 73 and 40 skated...Expected lines: 17-46-18, 63-37-28, 23-49-73, 20-11-22. D-pairs: 33-55, 12-44, 21-54, 43-34. Goal: 30, 40...Coach Julien stopped short of saying that Tyler Seguin would be a healthy scratch, but was asked about having the rookie watch Game 1. "I think it’s just we’ve got twenty guys in our line-up tonight that we feel is the line-up we want to go with," he said. 
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