WASHINGTON, DC --
On Thursday, Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau, talked at length about Tim Thomas
|Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau walks the bench as players, from left, Brooks Laich, Marcus Johansson and Eric Fehr watch a replay during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. The Bruins won 3-1. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) |
"He's always been a really good goalie, and I wish he'd quit," said Boudreau with a laugh. "What, is he (7-0) right now?
"But he's been tremendous and I love to see guys that have toiled in the minors and had to go over to Europe and come back and get the chance and prove that he belongs.
"And he belongs," he said.
Thomas has figured prominently in the B's success versus the Capitals this season.
"He's beaten us twice - well the Bruins have beaten us twice - but he was very instrumental, and when he's in that zone...it's really difficult to beat him.
"And he's so competitive, you have to admire a guy like that."
And don't talk to Boudreau about Thomas' "unconventional" style.
"Just stopping the puck. That's all it is," said Boudreau. "I don't care about style. I just want you to stop the puck."
Boudreau remembered Thomas' from both men's days in the AHL.
"He played so great against our teams, and I'd sit there and wonder why no NHL team had jumped all over this guy and then [former Boston GM] Michael O'Connell was smart enough to see that he was good enough and brought him out to Boston," said Boudreau.
"Probably when he game him his first three-year deal, a few eyebrows were raised but I mean, he was worth everything that they gave him and more."
But the Bruins weapons don't just play within the crease.
"It's a pretty good combination when you can score first and not allow another team to score at all," said Boudreau. "And they're playing as well, if not better, than any team in the NHL right now.
"They remind me of the team they had two years ago where they led the league...in defense, led the league in offense, and they're feeling it and it doesn't matter who goes into the line-up. [Johnny Boychuk
] goes out, McQuaid comes in, they do the same thing.
"So I mean, Claude [Julien] has got them playing as well as you can play."