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A Starring Role...

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- "No," was the unequivocal answer from Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid.

The question: Have you ever seen a goalie on a streak like Tim Thomas'?

Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, center, celebrates his 4-0 win over Ottawa with teammates Tyler Seguin (19) and Adam McQuaid (54) during NHL hockey action in Ottawa on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Fred Chartrand)
McQuaid, smiling but citing superstition, didn't want to elaborate as he headed into the locker room after practice.

However, B's Head Coach Claude Julien had no problem throwing some laurels into Tim's puck-filled catching glove when he spoke to the media a few minutes later.

"No. Not of this nature here," said Julien, almost solemnly.

"We’re talking about 0.5 [goals against average], and that’s pretty special, I think -- It’s just a matter of riding it.

"Hopefully, [you] see a goaltender keep doing that for you as long as he can.

"It’s a long year and when those situations come about, you take advantage of it.

"It’s as simple as that," added Julien.

They were probably pretty simple press releases to write down in New York at NHL HQ, too. The NHL named Thomas their First Star of the Week (ending Oct. 31) and the league's Second Star for the month of October.

When asked if the goalie deserved more accolades, on Monday Julien said, "That’s not up to me to decide...[but] he’s certainly made a case for himself."

Beyond personal accolades, Thomas has made a case for the B's being one of the most formidable teams in all of hockey and Coach Julien and the rest of the Black & Gold are happy for the opportunity to challenge their opponents every night.

"We’re definitely happy to see him play that way," said Julien. "It gives us a chance to win, and we know how important goaltending is in this league.

"He’s provided us with some outstanding [performances]."

Julien was also asked if there was a more formidable one-two goaltending punch than the B's Thomas and Tuukka Rask.

"I can’t say I’ve been around much to watch every team, but we obviously feel great about our...situation with those goaltenders," he said. "I think I’ve been saying that since day one.

"I almost feel like we have to prove it, but that’s what this game is all about, showing that you do have that strong goaltending, and we know we’ve got it in both guys."

And right now, Thomas is playing a very, very confident game.

"There’s no doubt," he said. "You know, he was like that a few years ago...[when] he was a real good goaltender for us and he won the Vezina Trophy.

"For some reason he had a tough year last year and all of a sudden it’s about doubting whether he can play goal again," said Julien. "You’re going to have a lot of good years, and the minute you have a bad one, people are going to start doubting you.

"So, I think all he’s doing right now is he's showing everyone that he is the real deal and that what he’s been before last year is what Tim Thomas is all about."
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