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The "Other" Save...

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- As the B's prepare to once again head north to Montreal for Tuesday's Game 6 in the Bell Centre, much is being said about a certain save in Saturday's Game 5 victory.


However, no matter how fun it is to replay Michael Ryder's "glove save" on Tomas Plekanec, it was Boston's actual goaltender Tim Thomas' stop against the Canadiens Brian Gionta that actually saved the game for Boston in double overtime.

"When it started, I actually came out and was playing it as if [Travis] Moen would have a breakaway, because that’s what it looked like, a break, right off the start," said Thomas, postgame Saturday night.

"And then I realized my D was going to get back and make it a two-on–one, and I was out pretty far so I had to make sure I started to get my backward momentum going so I could play both the shot and the pass," he said. "And I was just barely had enough speed to be able to make that push over on the pass.

"I was just fortunate enough to get a leg out and cover that part of the net," he said.

Gionta, a former Boston College Eagle, had to admit it was a nice stop.

"It was a 2 on 1," he said. "My thought was just trying to get it on the net and get it over him.

"He is a pretty good goalie and he moves well side to side and he just read it."

But no matter the importance of the double OT save, the reaction around Boston was nothing near the hyperbole (helped along by this very site) about the Ryder block.

Defenseman Andrew Ference seemed to have a theory about the phenomenon during his postame comments Saturday night. Apparently, the B's are used to "highlight reel" saves produced by the man they call "The Tank."

"Run of the mill, I guess?" said Ference, half-joking and half-serious of Saturday's stop.

"I mean, what do you say? We still get excited by some of the saves, but he does them every game.

"It’s great," added Ference. "It’s very reassuring to know that he’s back there to really bail you out of some good plays."

Thomas. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Thomas himself didn't sound overly excited, either and couldn't tell the press where the Gionta save stacked up against his personal best.

"No, I mean I don’t have a list like that," said Thomas. "I do have a couple that stick out from the past and stuff and I’m sure I haven’t had much time to think about it. The game just got over."

But after a couple seconds thought, Thomas had to admit that it might make the list eventually.

"Yeah, probably because it ended up being such an important save. And I’ll have to watch it to get a better picture of exactly what happened because it was the second overtime and thing happen fast and I was just playing goalie."

It's pretty clear that Thomas is never "just playing goalie."

B's Head Coach Claude Julien said on Sunday, Thomas looked the part of a leader in the Bruins locker room.

"Yeah I think even in the morning, he just looked very calm, very poised [with] an element of probably confidence in his demeanor," said Julien. "Maybe not just confidence, but determination.

"And as soon as the game started you could tell that he wasn’t overly busy and he seemed pretty confident. And he made the big saves when he had to and if anything I thought he got better as they game went on."

His teammates appreciated his work, even if it has become "run of the mill."

"It’s huge," said Seidenberg, who added the B's wanted to work even harder to get the victory after Thomas made the stop.

"I mean we just know he saved us the game, and you know you have to get going to turn the momentum around again.

"It’s great to have Tim in back," he said.
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