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Bear Essentials: Timmy's the Talk of the Town

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
Sometimes, I can be a little gullible and I am pretty sure some of the Bruins players have figured that out -- particularly Boston's all-star goalie Tim Thomas.

Case in point, following his surprising two-pad stack save against Nashville's Radek Bonk, I thought I had gone back in time to the days of the "stand-up" goalies.

Tim, deadpan, "disagreed" and tried to "explain".

"Me and Bob (Essensa, B's goalie coach) worked on that all summer," he said. "We worked on a couple of those moves during the summer, actually.

"We set it up in practice.

"Usually most goalies throw the two pad stack to the glove side, but we worked on throwing it to the blocker side so we could do something different," Thomas said.

As I sat there dumbfounded, shocked that in the age of the butterfly a professional coach and an NHL goalie had actually practiced a two-pad stack to the wrong side, I said, "Really?"

Thomas finally cracked and started laughing.

"No. No. I've never practiced that in my life," said the Tank. "It's just like the back spin in the all-star game -- everything just happens by accident.

"Fortunately I got good results."

His teammates didn't care if the move was planned or improvised; they just liked what they saw.

"Timmy played unbelievable," said Marc Savard after the victory. "He was the big story."

"I think the bigger plays were Timmy's saves," said Ference when asked about his fight against Scott Nichol.

Even Glen Metropolit, who himself had one of the best evenings of his career, saw Timmy's goaltending as the most memorable moments of the evening. And when he was asked about what he would remember about the night when he scored his 100th NHL point, his answer was quick.

"Timmy's saves," he said. "That's what is going to stand out in my head.

"He made some unbelievable saves."

And the opponents had to admit, on this night, the B's superman was bulletproof.

"It might be the best game by a goaltender in one game," said the Predators Jason Arnott.  "Incredible.

"We had a little meeting before, we heard a little bit about him, how he’s never out of a save and how he (always) bears down (and) he really proved that tonight.

"He made some highlight reel saves and he kept them in the game."

Thomas' counterpart on the opposite end of the rink agreed.

" He made some spectacular saves," said Chris Mason. "We needed one of those to go in and it’s a different game, but he didn’t give up any of those pucks.

"He made some great saves and that’s a big reason they one the game tonight."

Alex Radulov actually bested Thomas once, but still had to doff his helmet to the B's all-star.

"He’s an awesome goalie and everyone knows that," admitted the Predator.  "He played an awesome game and sometimes…the luck he had today was unbelievable. 

"(But) he had luck today that doesn’t come to you; he worked hard and he did it."

2:47 p.m.
Last weekend has finally caught up to me folks...but thankfully the Bruins looked very fresh as they left Ristuccia for Ottawa.

Captain Zdeno Chara, in particular, looked as if he were ready for his next game and strode out of the locker room with an almost September-like stride. Fellow all-stars Marc Savard and Tim Thomas both looked ready for the Senators, as well.

One welcome addition to the practice ice, over the last couple of days, has been P.J. Axelsson. His injury has healed enough for him to be an active part of practice.

"We'll get him more involved as we go along here as we go along," said Head Coach Claude Julien. "(But) it's definitely a good sign for his return.

"He's making the trip (to Ottawa), but he's not going to make the trip tomorrow night.

"He's coming on the trip because he is getting closer and we wanted him to practice with the team," said Coach.

In a little bit of a surprise, Coach Julien amended his statement when he said,"Is Saturday a possibility? Yes."

3:29 p.m.
What do you expect from Ottawa Coach?

"Were in a situation here with 32 games left where it doesn't matter who you play," he said. "You still have to win those games.

"We have to go in there with the intention of beating them."

Hanging with them or moral victories will not get Boston to the playoffs.

"We're 0-3 against them," he said. "One was a shootout loss, but still, we have to start beating some of those teams and go in there and play our game.

"It's as simple as that...we can't accept losses just because of who we play."

One of the writers questioning Coach stated that the Bruins had "been right with" Ottawa all three times the clubs had played.

"Yep. We've played them well," said Julien. "It's just a matter of continuing to do that.

"The only team we haven't played well is Montreal

"It's as simple as that ...we have lots of games in our division from here on in and it's probably going to make a difference when we talk at the end of the year," he said.
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