|11.01.10 at 1:32 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was named the NHL’s No. 1 star of the week on Monday. Thomas made 49 saves in two starts over the course of the week, winning games over the Maple Leafs and Senators in shutout fashion.
On the season, Thomas, 36 has allowed just three goals in winning all six of his starts, leading the NHL in goals against average (0.50), save percentage (.984) and shutouts (3). In 43 games last season, Thomas posted a 2.56 GAA with a .915 save percentage and five shutouts.
Thomas said that the last time he felt as dominant as he currently does was back during the lockout, when he posted five shutouts in a span of 10 games. His coach felt he was undoubtedly deserving of the distinction.
“We’re definitely happy to see him play that way every night,” Claude Julien said. “It gives us a chance to win, and we know how important goaltending is in this league, and he’s provided us with an outstanding one.”
Here’s the video of Thomas discussing the honor, his hot start, and wondering whether “Tiny” was actually Cecil Thompson‘s name.
|11.01.10 at 11:00 am ET|
WILMINGTON — A familiar face was back on the ice at Ristuccia Arena on Monday as Brian McGrattan, sent to Providence for conditioning over the weekend, returned to the big club. McGrattan had been a healthy scratch in each of the five games for which he had eligibility to dress after signing with the team following the second game of the season.
The line adjustment made in Saturday’s 2-0 win over the Senators has also seemingly stuck, as Mark Recchi is skating with Patrice Bergeron and Jordan Caron, while Blake Wheeler has made the jump down to the third line, where he will play with Tyler Seguin and Michael Ryder.
Monday’s skate featured no notable absences. Everyone is accounted for.
|10.30.10 at 9:37 pm ET|
Tim Thomas made 29 saves and picked up his second straight shutout (third of the season) as the Bruins blanked the Senators, 4-0, in Ottawa on Saturday.
David Krejci, Tyler Seguin, Jordan Caron, and Milan Lucic scored for the Bruin, who improved to 6-2-0 on the young season. The team remains undefeated on the road (4-0) and in games started by Thomas (6-0). In starting 6-0, Thomas became the first Bruins goalie since Tiny Thompson 73 years ago to do so.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– With the shutout on Saturday, Tim Thomas is already approaching his career-high for a season. The veteran netminder has had five shutouts in each of the last two seasons and now, just six games into his season, has blanked opponents in half his contests and is two away from getting to five on the season again.
– Patrice Bergeron deserves all the credit in the world for the heads-up play that led to Caron’s goal in the third period. The second-line center blocked a Daniel Alfredsson wrist shot in his own zone, got control of the puck, and sent it to a flying Caron in the neutral zone. The rookie took it there, finishing on the breakaway and picking up his third goal of the season.
– Seguin has now scored in two straight games, and it doesn’t seem to have mch to do with any offensive coming of age. He’s proven to be a threat offensively all season and kept it up Saturday.
The rookie also showcased playmaking skills throughout the night, hitting new lineman Blake Wheeler with a nice pass on a 2-on-1 in the third. Wheeler send the pass right back to Seguin but lacked accuracy, and the play dismantled as the rookie tried to get a skate on it and retain the puck.
– Lucic said before the season that he had set a personal goal for himself. The feat he hoped to achieve? Scoring 20 goals. It’s early, but he’s on pace to more than double that, as he’s got four through eight games. Maybe Lucic should have aimed a bit higher, and maybe for something in the 25-30 range.
– The Bruins power play continues to be the best in the NHL, as they killed off three penalties and surely lowered the 92.3 kill rate with which they entered the game.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– This can’t really be placed on the Bruins, but a reason to rain on the parade nonetheless. The Senators played such an overwhelmingly sloppy game that one shouldn’t get carried away with anything based on this game. Naturally, some of the saves Thomas was able to make can translate into any level of competition, but this wasn’t the Senators’ night.
Krejci’s goal, which came off a turnover in front of the net, and a second-period penalty for too many men on the ice were a couple of examples, though there were plenty more (how about Mike Fisher being in the crease for what would have been a Daniel Alfredsson goal?) As pretty as the scoreboard look, it undoubtedly was a case of the a good Bruins team running into a Senators club that brought messy play to a new level.
– Dennis Seidenberg shed some unnecessary blood late in the game. With 2:07 remaining in the third period of a 4-0 contest, Ottawa forward Chris Neil, who got a roughing penalty on the play, tried mixing it up with the B’s defenseman for a fantastically unnecessary tussle.
|10.30.10 at 8:46 pm ET|
Mike Fisher helped negate a Daniel Alfredsson goal, as every inch of Fisher’s body was in the crease when Alfredsson beat Tim Thomas for what appeared to be the Senator’s first tally of the game. With the goal being immediately waved off and Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic striking for Boston, the Bruins hold a 3-0 lead as the two teams enter the third period.
Seguin showed a good burst through the neutral zone and took a beautiful pass from Mark Recchi on the man advantage to beat Senators goalie Brian Elliott for a power play goal. The goal was the rookie’s second in as many games and the third of his NHL career.
The Lucic goal came on the second breakaway of the shift for the first line. Nathan Horton had a breakaway coming out of the box on a hooking call but got too fancy and Brian Elliot didn’t bite. Lucic beat the Sens’ netminder five-hole for his fourth goal of the season. The shutout remains in tact for Tim Thomas, as he looks to pick up sixth win in six games.
|10.30.10 at 7:51 pm ET|
David Krejci got the Bruins on the board in the first period when he picked off a Chris Phillips pass near the top of the circle and beat Brian Elliott with a wrist shot. The B’s killed two penalties and Tim Thomas made 12 saves as the Bruins head to the locker room up 1-0 after one in Ottawa.
– The second and third lines saw some shuffling for the second time this season. Midway through the period, Claude Julien changed the lines to their season-opening form, placing Mark Recchi back with Patrice Bergeron and Jordan Caron, and bumping Blake Wheeler back to the third line with Tyler Seguin.
The switch nearly paid dividends on the scoreboard, as Ryder had a nice pass to Wheeler in front of the net. Wheeler was stuffed by Elliott and a scrum ensued as he went for the rebound.
– The jerk store called, and they’re running out of Jarkko Ruutu. The Sens forward held onto Gregory Campbell’s stick as he went for a change and drew a penalty when Campbell shoved him.
– Brad Marchand made a nifty move to evade Senators defenseman Matt Carkner but was stopped by Elliott in the first period. Shawn Thornton later came close to connecting with Marchand on a long pass, but Marchand couldn’t handle it. With the surprising bit of offensive punch the fourth line has shown, it’s hard not think that career goal No. 1 could be right around the corner for Marchand.
|10.30.10 at 2:22 pm ET|
After spending the last three games getting comfortable with the Garden, the Bruins, undefeated on the road this season, are in Ottawa and set to take on the Senators in their second-straight game against a division rival. The Senators are 4-5-1 on the season, good for nine points, just one better than last-place Buffalo in the Northeast division.
– Tim Thomas will be in net for the Bruins, and manning the pipes for the Senators is 30-year-old Brian Elliott. Now in his third season with the Senators (he started one game in the 2007-08 campaign), Elliott hasn’t put up the prettiest numbers, posting a 3.27 goals against average and a .900 save percentage. The numbers look even worse when put up against Thomas’ league-leading 0.60 GAA and .981 save percentage. Thomas is 16-7-2 against the Senators in his career with a 2.10 GAA and .932 save percentage.
– Thomas’ chief concerns will be Daniel Alfredsson, who has six goals and six assists on the season, as well as Jason Spezza. The latter is returning from a groin injury that kept him out for the Sens’ last four games, though Ottawa has won their last two.
– Left wing Milan Michalek is out for about a week for the Senators thanks to tendinitis in his surgically repaired left knee. Michalek has four goals and an assist in eight games played this season.
– Old friend Sergei Gonchar was honored by the NHL on Tuesday as he dressed in his 1000th career NHL game. The Russian defenseman, who finished out the 2003-04 season and playoffs with the Bruins after a deadline deal with Washington, was inked to a three-year, $16 million deal by the Senators after playing the previous five seasons in Pittsburgh. Now 36 years of age, Gonchar has six assists on the season.
– For the Bruins, Nathan Horton’s season-opening point streak ended in Thursday’s 2-0 victory over the Maple Leafs, but he still leads the B’s with nine. The only change the Bruins have seen to roster was Friday’s move that sent Brian McGrattan to Providence for the weekend for conditioning. The move will have no impact on Saturday’s lineup, as McGrattan had been a healthy scratch in all five games he’s played in since signing with the Bruins.
Here are the lines, according to the Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa:
Matt Hunwick – Dennis Seidenberg
Mark Stuart – Adam McQuaid
|10.30.10 at 11:46 am ET|
Tim Thomas did not participate in the Bruins’ optional morning skate in Ottawa on Saturday, but Claude Julien told reporters that the 26-year-old netminder will be in goal for the B’s when they take on the Senators on Saturday night.
Thomas has won all five of his starts this season, allowing just three goals in the process. He currently leads the NHL with a 0.60 goals against average and a .981 save percentage, while tying for the league lead with two shutouts. Tuukka Rask, who started the season-opener in Prague, has lost each of his two starts this season.