Captain Brown won't back down

I had the opportunity to spend time around Brown over the past four or five years through two Olympic tournaments and the long run in 2012. I was in his hometown of Ithaca, New York, for his day with the Stanley Cup in the summer of 2012. One of memories that sticks with me is Brown's unfailing patience with the busyness of the moment. That and his insistence, along with his wife, that the day with the Cup was put to good use in raising more than $15,000 to aid injured military personnel to help honor his wife's cousin, who had died after being severely injured in a suicide bomb blast in Afghanistan.

Maybe those are the moments that help provide perspective at the most important times of life. If there have been disappointments over personal play, they have never become a distraction for his teammates or his team. And if there have been moments of disappointment with how the team has played, those moments have been quickly banished and the focus re-established on the task at hand.

"I think we understand as a group the way we need to play. It's not an easy game to play for 82 games, but we understand about the journey. We're built for playoff hockey," Brown said recently. "Every trade deadline, every draft, you hear media or fans or whoever say 'We need to get rid of this guy, or get this guy' but a big part of our success is that we've been together and understand the type of team we are. It might not be a 120-point regular-season team, but we've been playing in June three years in a row, and I don't think there's any other team in the league that can say that."

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