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Thomas Remains Focused on the Ice

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo's comments regarding Boston goalie Tim Thomas are manna to a journalist with an extra day to fill between games of the Stanley Cup Final.

But Thomas did his best to maintain the high ground in the mostly one-sided conversation about his handling of the Canucks' game-winner in Game 5.

"I did hear about what he said, but I don't really want to go into that," said Thomas. "My focus is on what I can do to help my team win going into Game 6 here.

"It's obviously a 'must win' game and I think it's important for our whole team to focus on that game and what we can do on the ice."

However, when the subject of the "goalies' union" or the usual tradition of puck-stoppers sticking together was broached during Sunday's media session, Thomas said of Luongo, "I guess I didn't realize it was my job to pump his tires.

"I guess I have to apologize for that."

Thomas' thoughts sent a wave of laughter throughout the press corps, but Tim returned to a more serious status, and explained: "I still think I'm the goaltender on the union side and I stick with all the other goalies.

"In being one and knowing what it takes to perform at this level and with this amount of pressure, I understand to a certain extent what every other goaltender is going through.

"I guess that's that," he said.

"I think we've done a good job of focusing on the important things, which is what you can do on the ice and I think that's what helped us to get this far." - Tim Thomas
Chances are good that Thomas' words won't be the definitive statement on the issue, but the B's goalie isn't going to allow anything off the ice distract him from his task. Instead, he'd like to do his "talking" and keep his focus on the task at hand.

"I think we've done a good job of focusing on the important things, which is what you can do on the ice and I think that's what helped us to get this far," said Thomas of his Bruins. "As a player, I think that's your job.

"There is obviously going to be talk in the media and they're going to talk about a whole bunch of different topics and that's fine. When I watched playoffs in the past, sometimes it's fun to listen to what is said.

"But when you're playing, I think the best course is to remain focused on what you can control and that's on the ice," he said.

Another humorous moment for Thomas on the dais came when a reporter asked Thomas how hard it was to remain focused with millions and millions of people watching the Stanley Cup Final.

"The first thing I do is don't think about the millions and millions of people that are watching," said Thomas, which created another ripple of laughter through the press corps.

But again, Tim turned serious.

"There are only 12 players out on the ice at any given time, max, and the ice surface is the same size," he explained. "There is only one puck in play at all times, and I think you just focus on the nuances of the game.

"You don't pretend that the fans aren't there," added Thomas, "but I guess what I'm trying to say is it shouldn't matter whether you have a packed building or you're playing in an empty rink.

"Your focus is on the game and playing the game. You try to get the same focus that you had as a kid when you were out playing on the pond and you're just enjoying the game.

"Really, if you approach it like that it can be really fun," he said.

Many of the Bruins looked like they were having fun during Sunday's skate, and Thomas said that the mood around the team was good.

"We knew we needed to go out there and have a practice, get our feet moving, practice some of the little things, just taking shots, for me saving shots, and I think it was a good attitude out there," he said.


"What's the most important is what we do once the puck drops at 8:00 tomorrow night," said Thomas. 
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