As excited as B's goalie Tim Thomas
was for the playoffs, his personal anticipation meter probably reads just a bit higher as he and his Black & Gold teammates will practice for Game 4 of the Bruins upcoming quarterfinal match up against Montreal's bleu, blanc et rouge
in the home of the Red, White and Blue's most impressive hockey moment -- Lake Placid, New York.
|Jim Craig |
The Bruins announced today that they would bus to New York following the clubs game on Monday April 18 and work out at Whiteface Lake Placid Olympic Center, which houses the rink that showcased the USA's win over the USSR (although the Bruins will use an NHL-sized rink, rather than the Olympic-sized surface).
Thomas has often said that he can trace his earliest hockey memories back to February of 1980 when the United States shocked the Soviet Union and the world with an improbable gold medal and after being named to the 2010 United States Olympic Hockey Team, he told reporters that having an opportunity to represent the United States at the Winter Games in Vancouver was a dream come true.
“I couldn’t be happier," said Thomas in January 2010. “I’m American to the bone.”
"I feel like I've been waiting my whole life for this opportunity...That’s what I’ve dreamed of since I was five years old."
With all due respect to Steve Janaszak, it's a safe bet that most young goalies who watched the 1980 Miracle on Ice grew up idolizing Team USA's starter Jim Craig and not Janaszak, the backup. Boston's Thomas was no different from the scores of young Americans who saw Craig stand on his head for the United States and it was, of course, the Massachusetts' native (who played 23 games for the Bruins) who first inspired a five-year-old Tim to strap on the pads en route to a storybook climb through the ranks of professional hockey.
At the beginning of January 2010, however, Thomas said it was a dream come true just to be wearing his country's colors and when he spoke about his own Olympic experience he made it clear that the dream continued -- it just had a different view.
"We’re all here for the team. We put our egos aside," said Thomas. "Backing up is still part of the whole experience."
And that experience, which included a silver medal for Team USA and Tim Thomas
, was amazing.
"It’s been everything I hoped it would be," said Thomas during The Games. "It’s just an amazing atmosphere on the whole, not just by the US hockey players, but even in the team cafeteria.
"Everybody’s playing for their country and it’s been great."
This season, during his down time during the B's visit to Vancouver to face the Canucks, Thomas reflected on the 2010 Winter Games and the most memorable aspect of his Olympic experience.
"You know, just representing your country, like I had wanted to since I was five years old, was the biggest thing out of it,” he said.
And now, as he hopes to continue another chapter in his story book career, Thomas will be able to visit the very rink which housed its genesis. ---previously published material from BostonBruins.com was used in this report.