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21 and Counting

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

"Four, that’s nothing," said Tim Thomas when asked if he was getting used to consecutive starts. "That’s just the very beginning of a streak."

Tim speaks the truth.

As a senior at UVM, Thomas played all 36 of the Catamounts games, with a 22-11-3 record, a 2.81 goals against average, and a .914 save percentage. When he left, he owned the Vermont record for most minutes in a career with 8286, school record in wins with 81, and the ECAC record for saves -- 3950.

And over the expanse of his world travels, Thomas has often been a workhorse.

"I played I-don’t-know-how-many-it-was earlier this year, (21) or something like that, in a row. And I looked at the stats yesterday and Brodeur played 52-games, Luongo 51, and I’m only at 43, so it’s not that big of a deal," he said. "(The coach) tells you to play and you go out there."

Timmy played in 18-straight games last season, too.

"You just try conserve energy a little bit more," said Thomas of his consecutive game strategy. "In a pre-game practice, like today, you still want to work hard, but a little smarter.

"Whereas if you think you are going to have the night off, you work extra hard."

Contrary to his statements, it’s obvious that Tim works hard a every practice, and thanks to that hard work, he has earned a starting spot with the Bruins. He was reminded that he just earned his first 20-win season in the National Hockey League.

"This is my first full season in the NHL," explained Thomas, "but even last year I played pretty well. But wins ended up being pretty hard to come by."

They haven’t come that easy this year either, but undaunted, Thomas has his sights set higher than his current 21-16-3 docket.

"It’s great (to win 20 in the show) but we’ll see how high we can push that number."

When asked about the Bruins most recent games and their hopeful tone, Thomas thought for a second and said that the team was just "playing their game."

Pressed for an explanation he said, "The system."

"As coach Habscheid put it in a meeting…were going to stick with the girl that got us to the dance.

"We’ve tried a couple of different systems this year, depending on what we thought we needed at the time. And now it’s a little bit more of a conservative system, (It’s a conservative system), but not necessarily all over the place -- just in the neutral zone.

Simply put, Thomas said, "We can’t get ’odd-man rushed’ back (into our zone)."

"Especially against some teams that love to do it -- Like Carolina," he said.
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