Thomas reacts to All-Star snub
|11.05.08 at 10:21 am ET|
One day after learning that he was again left off the NHL All-Star ballot, Tim Thomas was ready to face the questions concerning his reaction and the intrepid goalie’s response was both predictable and classy. The 34-year-old netminder is leading the league in save percentage and sits second in the NHL in goals against and many members of Bruins Nation were appropriately perturbed when he didn’t make the cut — particularly after appearing in and winning last year’s NHL Mid-Winter Classic.
So what did Thomas think of again not making the cut among the Eastern Conference’s best 10 goaltenders?
“I know that everybody wants to know [my reaction],” said Thomas. “But I can only control what I can control and do the best I can to help this team out. Other than that, I’m not going to comment.”
Does the well-traveled netminder use this kind of NHL snub as motivation — just as the many doubting Thomases’ (no pun intended) continually cast pessimism on his ability to make it at the highest level of hockey as an unorthodox goaltender getting by more on enthusiasm, athleticism and sheer force of will than practiced technique?
“Yeah, it always has throughout my career. I think I’ve been underestimated quite a few times and I think it just feeds the fire to keep getting better, you know. You don’t want to totally look at it as always proving people wrong, but that seems to be what it boils down to.”
B’s coach Claude Julien understandably didn’t want to get tossed into a controversy about an individual honor (in this case a berth on the NHL All-Star ballot) when all concentration should be on the team and Thursday night’s rematch with Nik Antropov Mike Van Ryn and the rest of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I don’t know what to say about that. He’s played well and I don’t know how it’s chosen or anything. It’s unfortunate for him because every time he keeps battling, but you know that’s Timmy’s story,” said Julien. “He’s a battler. He’s in there every year and he does his job. That’s just the way it goes. There are bigger things for Timmy to worry about, and that’s continuing to help his team win.
“That should certainly, hopefully open some eyes. Who knows? Last year, even though he was there because of an injury, he was still there and I guess as a team we felt he deserved to be there. And that’s the important thing. It’s not so much the perception from the outside as much as its about what your team and your teammates think of you.”