– Since goaltender Tuukka Rask
has been injured, a lot of talk has circulated around how often Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas
should be rested before the playoffs.
Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien has addressed the issue before, acknowledging that Thomas will get his rest eventually, whether it’s through missing a practice or a morning skate, or by splitting time with goaltender Marty Turco
Playing AND resting in the same night doesn’t seem feasible, so when the Bruins took an early lead on the Toronto Maple Leafs in last night’s 8-0 victory, it was suspected Thomas might get some rest.
However, after Thomas faced just seven shots on net in the first two periods, Julien didn’t see the need.
“With the number of shots he had, I don’t think it was a real tough night for him,” Julien said. “I think a shutout’s also important for him as well. If I thought he was getting tired or he was getting overworked, I would have certainly pulled him out.”
As the game progressed and the Bruins piled on a steady lead, minutes would go by without Thomas seeing a shot.
“It’s more of a mental battle,” Thomas said. “I mean it got a lot easier when we got up 2-0 because you know, even if you’re feeling uncomfortable and they happen to get another goal, at least we had a two-goal cushion at the time.
“But those games are more difficult mentally. The best thing to do is not to think – just try to stay into the game and it’s not always easy to do. But I feel good that way, I never really lost the rhythm. The team never really lost the rhythm and got scrambly at any point so that helped.”
Thomas has played in 13 straight games (6-6, one no decision) since Feb. 25, 11 of which he was started. Naturally, Thomas was asked if the lighter workload helped him catch a break, but he said he was feeling better even before the puck dropped last night.
“I’m not even thinking about it from that way because no mater whether I have to do a lot of work or a little work, I have to be ready for whatever so I wasn’t even thinking about the workload side,” Thomas said. “I started to feel better against Philadelphia, and I think you could see it in my play and I felt good in practice this morning.
“I just wanted to carry it over no matter what kind of shots I had. With the way the team played in front of me [last night] and being able to get away with it at zero will help me continue moving forward.”
Not only was the win energizing for Thomas, but he said it will help the team move forward, too, as they prepare for their road trip to the west coast.
“I feel like something’s turned and it’s a good feeling,” Thomas said. “Even before the game [last night], I felt that way, I could just feel it in the locker room.”--- Anthony Gulizia