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Thomas pays price for aggressive goaltending

Sunday, 06.05.2011 / 2:25 AM

By Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer / Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

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Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins
Thomas pays price for aggressive goaltending
Tim Thomas is an aggressive goaltender, maybe the most aggressive in the NHL.

Being aggressive is part of his personality, and it often enables him to make brilliant saves. He challenges shooters, often coming out of the blue paint to cut off angles and not let the bodies in front of him affect his ability to make the save.

But every now and then, opponents are able to use that aggressiveness against him. Both of the game-winning goals in this 2011 Stanley Cup Final have come on plays where Thomas came out of his net and the Canucks were able to counter it.

"I think at the stage we're at right now, if I ask him to change his style, I'm not sure that's real good advice," Boston coach Claude Julien said.

Raffi Torres directed a pass from Jannik Hansen past Thomas with 18.5 seconds left in Game 1. Thomas came out to challenge Hansen, who was skating in from the right point, and the Danish forward sent the puck to Torres cutting toward the left post.

Alexandre Burrows also drew Thomas away from the cage with a shot fake as he broke down left wing early in overtime of Game 2. Thomas overcommitted on the play, so Burrows went behind the net and slipped in the game-winner on a wraparound before Thomas could recover.

"With Thomas coming out so far, in my head I was screaming, "Don't shoot!" Sure enough, that was one our scouting reports on him, to try to pump fake it and get him out of the net," Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider said in his Stanley Cup Final blog for nhl.com.

Thomas has stopped 63 of 67 shots in the first two games of this series. He has made numerous superb saves when the Canucks have controlled the play.

It certainly didn't sound like any of Thomas' teammates were interested in placing the blame on or losing their faith in their goaltender.

"I'm not going to tell him to change his game," Andrew Ference said. "He's been awesome for us. He does what he has to do."

Quote of the Day

Obviously there's a lot of expectations around me but it's something I try not to focus on. I'm just trying to go out there, be myself on the ice every day, try to get better, be myself around the guys in the locker room. I think that's what's made me successful and the person that I am.

— Sabres forward Jack Eichel on transitioning from college hockey to the NHL