For example, asked about Tim Thomas
after his 4-0 shutout of the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night, and in the light of the goalie's "spirited" play throughout the Stanley Cup Final, Boston Heach Coach Claude Julien said, "Well, it's indicative of the way he's had to battle to get here, number one.
"Anybody that knows the story of Tim Thomas
, he's taken a real bumpy road to get to the NHL. He's had so many obstacles in front of him that he's overcome, it makes him a battler...We're a blue-collar team that goes out and works hard and earns every inch of the ice that you can get."
On Thursday, after the B's arrived in British Columbia for Game 5, Julien was asked to clarify his description of his Bruins.
"Well, because you say you're blue-collar doesn't mean you don’t have any skill or talent as well," said Julien.
"It's a group that comes in and works hard every day, really grinds it out...[and] our team is pretty happy with that if that's what we're labeled."
"That's what we are, we're a blue collar team that goes out and works hard and earns every inch of the ice that you can get." - Claude Julien
The Boston Bruins have always prided themselves on that working man's label. Nicknames like the "Big Bad Bruins" and "Lunchpail A.C." have only solidified the perception in Boston, and in NHL cities across North America, that the B's come to play every single day.
Obviously, the results may not always be there, but a full 60 minute effort has been the goal for the Black & Gold throughout the team's history and particularly during the "Harder to Play Against" era of Julien and General Manager Peter Chiarelli.
That reputation has only been enhanced by the visage of Cam Neely as Bruins team president.
"I think the fans in Boston like that kind of a team," said Julien. "They've had those kinds of teams in the past that have had success.
"That's what Boston is all about," added the coach. "I think it seems to please everybody in that area, including ourselves.
"We like the way we have to go out there and play every night and we take pride in it."
As for his goaltender, and Thomas' embodiment of that attitude, Julien said on Wednesday, "Tim fits well in regards to that.
"Again, the way he battles, he never quits on any pucks, even to the point where he can let a bad goal in every once in a while or a couple in a game
"You know that when the game is on the line he's going to be standing on his head again, because he battles through it."
Julien added, "It makes him the perfect goaltender for our organization because that's what we are."