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For Thomas, It's All About Team USA

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Vancouver, BC -- 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.

Goalies Tim Thomas and Ryan Miller of the United States skate off the ice after team USA won 3-1 against Switzerland during the men's preliminary game on day 5 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 16, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
And the Boston Bruins Tim Thomas was no different from the scores of young Americans who saw Craig stand on his head for the United States. It was, of course, Craig who first inspired young Tim to strap on the pads en route to a sometimes storybook-like climb through the ranks of professional hockey.

At the beginning of January, Thomas said it was a dream come true to be named to Team USA squad and when he spoke about his Olympic experience on Tuesday, he made it clear that the dream continues -- it just has a different view.

"There should be no question," said Thomas. "Of course we’re all here for the team. We put our egos aside.

"Backing up is still part of the whole experience."

Thomas said he liked what he saw during the American's opening tilt.

"Obviously getting the win today was big," said Thomas. "Switzerland actually impressed me."

Switzerland impressed a lot of people, particularly in the first period and late in the game, but the young American club's superior firepower and strength won the day as Team USA dropped the Swiss, 3-1.

Tearm USA's starter in goal, Ryan Miller, was often outstanding in the win. Thomas understands his role and said that his Olympic experience has started out very nicely and added that being a veteran on a young club is par for the course.

"It’s not that big of a change for me and it’s nice being one of the older guys," he said. "Just being a part of this whole experience and being around the team, being at the Olympics, it’s been great so far.

"We’ve only been here a couple days so the Olympic experience just started, but so far it’s been everything I hoped it would be," continued Thomas. "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," he said.

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