On Monday, Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas
remains the NHL leader in goals against average (1.64) and save percentage (.951) and on Saturday he needed every bit of the goalting guile to get the Black & Gold a win versus the Washington Capitals.
|Thomas makes a save against the Washington Capitals. |
Thomas made 41 saves, including 25 in just the third period en route to his 15th win.
"Well it certainly saved us," said Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien of his goaltender's effort versus the Caps. "There’s no doubt about that.
"It’s unfortunate," added Julien."We had a real good start and I thought we took the game to them very well in the first.
"In the second period, again, you knew they were going to come out better and I thought we held our own and still had our chances.
"We came out in the third and we did exactly what we weren’t supposed to do," he said.
After the game, Thomas was focusing on the B's victory as opposed to the club's struggles in the second half of the contest.
"We needed to win," said Tim. "We needed the two points.
"I looked at the standings really quick before, Tampa played one more game than us, but they had two more points than us...and you know you’ve got to keep pace with these other teams and you’ve got to keep as much separation between the teams behind you as possible."
And in the moment, Thomas wasn't thinking about the sheer number of shots he faced hin the thrid period.
"I wasn’t over thinking it," said Thomas. "For some reason I was just kind of playing it like practice.
"I didn’t really notice there was all that much work. I was just kind of going with the flow. Sometimes that’s what happens, and sometimes that can make it easier."
But it's never easy to face Alex Ovechkin and when the Capitals sniper bears down on you with ten seconds to go -- well, most people would be a little nervous.
Thomas said he didn't reflect on the possibilities.
"Sometimes I can over think it," said Thomas. "Fortunately...I wasn’t over thinking it, it was just one more save to make to win the game."
Thomas may not have been thinking about it, but his teammates saw his performance and had their own thoughts about the night.
"He was great," said B's alternate captain Patrice Bergeron
, simply. "He’s been great all year and tonight, again, he was huge."