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Two Number Ones

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON - Don't ask Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien whether Tim Thomas or Tuukka Rask is his number one goalie.


Thomas & Rask
"Plain and simple, I don’t have a number two goalie," is his answer.

"That’s the 'dilemma' I have right now," said Julien to the hockey press on Thursday morning. "I don’t have a backup. I have two number ones.

"So, that’s a great situation to be in, and they both know that they are capable of being number one goaltenders and it’s up to us to manage that the best we can.

"It’s up to them to manage that the best they can as well, and so far, as I’ve mentioned in the past weeks, they are very supportive of each other because their number one goal is to have this team succeed more than their individual goals."

Julien compared and contrasted the motivating factors behind both goaltender's will to win.

"You’ve got an older goaltender that really wants to win a Stanley Cup and is the one thing he hasn’t got yet," explained Julien. "You’ve got a young goaltender that’s got a great future ahead of him and he wants to be a part of the Stanley Cup team.

"So, in order to do that you’ve got to work together and right now they’ve made that pact to work together and support each other."

And don't expect Julien to change his tune anytime soon.

"I never named anyone 'a starter.' I think it’s been clear they way I coach in the past who ever is doing a good job gets to play," said Julien. "There’s been times that we’ve had a backup goaltender here that’s been very good and he’s been able to play more than one game and we’ve ridden him as long as we could, and that’s just the way we do things.

"I am one of those believers that you’ve got to do number one what’s best for the hockey club, and you want to have players who think the same way."

Julien did say that he wasn't surprised that Thomas had rebounded from 2009-10.

"Well, yeah," began Julien. "Tim Thomas has done that before, so it’s not really a surprise.

"It’s him bouncing back from a tougher year. The numbers he’s putting up right now are very similar to the numbers...[to] where Tim has been in the past.

"Tim is a battler that certainly won’t give in to being the number two," concluded JUlien. "He feels he’s a number one and that’s why we’re in that position right now to have that kind of goaltending."
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