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Renewed Tradition

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins -- As Thanksgiving approached, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and his teammates had to keep hockey on their mind.

On Wednesday, the B's outlasted the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in a shootout.

Thursday, Thomas got to enjoy his favorite Thanksgiving food, ham, before he and his teammates return to the TD Garden for the Bruins annual afternoon game on "Black Friday."

While some of the B's might be afraid to eat too much, Thomas wasn't worried and planned on enjoying the holiday as usual.

"I've played in a few of these games the day after Thanksgiving and I've never felt slowed down," said the all-star goaltender on Tuesday during an NHL conference call.

"Personally, I don't put too much thought in it and I'm gonna try to enjoy Thursday, eat as much as I like or don't like and just get ready to play the game."

Though he's played in the annual post-turkey day matinee game before, should he get the start in goal, this Friday's afternoon affair will be a whole different experience for the former University of Vermont standout.

NBC has picked up the game and decided to broadcast it nationally and the Bruins netminder is a huge fan of network's efforts.

"I think it's a good thing, trying to make an annual tradition out of the Thanksgiving time period," said Thomas. "You know, as a hockey fan, I would have enjoyed having an afternoon game the day after Thanksgiving as a kid [as] something to look forward to.

"It would have made the Thanksgiving vacation a little more special."

And NBC couldn't have picked a better year to jump start a tradition.

The Bruins are the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, and will host the perennial Western Conference powerhouse Detroit Red Wings.

Greater still, is the fact that both teams are members of the "Original Six" and as an added bonus, Detroit happens to be Thomas' home team, as he hails from Flint, Michigan.

The Bruins have their work cut out for them and will have to bring their "A" game if they want to overcome the Red Wings in front of a national television audience.

"It'll be a bigger deal this year," said Thomas in anticipation of Friday's game. "Being on NBC, and we happen to be playing against the Detroit Red Wings, another team that's had success in recent years and with our success last year, it should be set up for a really good game."

---Amanda Ostuni
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