– Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas
has started six of the last seven games in net and has played in all of them – including when he had to relieve Tuukka Rask
after he was injured in the second period March 3.
It might sound like too many appearances for the 37-year old goaltender – but if you ask him, he’ll say he feels just fine.
“There are plenty of other goalies that have to play a ton and they have to deal with it. I will do the same thing,” Thomas said after last night’s 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. “Physically I am fine, physically I am good.
“Mentally I am good. I have felt a lot better than the results I have gotten on the scoreboard over the past few games. That is not an issue.”
Part of the reason Thomas feels the way he does, is because he’s facing far less shots in the last handful of games, he said.
In three of his last seven outings (4-3), he was challenged with 20 shots or less.
Will Thomas get used to the lightened workload?
“As used to it as you can get,” he said. “[Last night’s] low shot totals were not too many big scoring chances. Other games there have been low shot totals, but a lot of good scoring chances. Those ones are harder. [Last night,] how it played out was much easier for me over all.”
The Bruins goaltender made 19 saves
in last night’s win, and didn’t see more than eight shots in a period.
“I think we had control of the puck and had it in their end a lot,” Thomas said. “Buffalo looked like a very tired team so they didn’t put too much pressure on us.”
While Rask recovers from his injury suffered on March 3, newly signed goaltender Marty Turco
is working to get back up to NHL speed after playing in Austria.
In the meantime, Thomas will handle the duties in net – a task that he is certain he can manage.
Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien is confident his Vezina-winning goaltender will survive the long haul – and is willing to take the right steps to prevent him from getting worn down.
“We’ve kind of really tried to go easy on him in practice and keeping him short, and we’ll certainly give him the time off that he needs just to stay fresh,” Julien said. “But again, we have Marty to come in and hopefully give us a hand here down the road and hopefully those things will all fall into place.” --- Anthony Gulizia