OTTAWA, Ontario --
Generally, Tim Thomas
has a pretty intense angle on Zdeno Chara
's shooting style and after "Big Zee" broke his own All-Star Skills record with an 108.8 MPH slapshot, the B's goalie sounded as if he was happy to have been a spectator on that particular blast.
However, Thomas assured the gathered press in Ottawa's Scotiabank Place that he has certainly seen that kind of propulsion personally.
"Yes. He said he doesn’t, but yes he does every once in a while," said Thomas. "He says he misses the net most of the time, but I know he has a hard shot.
"I get to face that every day in practice for the past few years and it’s part of what’s made me a better goalie.
"Hopefully we’re playing together for a lot longer, but it’s been an honor playing with him. He’s turned into one of the best defenseman to play the game," he said.
Thomas also reiterated his admiration of everyone who is participating in the All-Star Weekend, but his thoughts circled back to Chara.
"A lot of good talent showing tonight, obviously the big story should be Zee’s hardest shot," said Thomas. "I’ve had the pleasure of seeing history first hand these last couple of All-Star games, he keeps upping the ante.
"But man, when he tops the year before you’re like, 'Okay, that’s it.' But he’s always reached a new limit - so that’s awesome."
Similar to Tyler Seguin
, 19, Thomas, 37, displays a certain "Kid-in-a-candy-store" look during the NHL's midwinter classic.
"I guess it’s turned into an opportunity to see people I’ve played with over the years so it’s really nice in that way," said Thomas. "Kimmo Timonen, Brian Campbell, guys I played with in Finland and other guys too, but also get to meet some other guys I don’t know, especially these young kids.
"I was highly impressed with the young kids talents today and meeting them and just talking to them, I enjoyed it."
Thomas has impressed young and old with his goaltending throughout most of the past three seasons, what with two Vezina Trophy's, a Jennings Trophy, a Conn Smythe and the Stanley Cup. But the goalie admitted he always has to keep some of his famous competitiveness under wraps.
"Even when I’m competing [in regular season games] I’m trying to keep it under rap because my tendency, for the most part over the course of my career, is to get too ramped up," said Thomas. "I’m one of those guys that has to calm himself sort of.
"But tonight in this one, I felt in the middle. I was just, I guess everything after this past whole week, being out on the ice was so much easier."
However, Tim relishes the opportunity to break his own record with a fourth-straight All-Star victory and if he see's the ice in the third period he hopes to take home the "W."
"Yeah, why not," said Thomas. "Go for it."