Tim Thomas  was disappointed like everyone else hoping the Bruins, not the Devils, would score late and pull out a two-pointer on Thursday night against the Devils.
But the puck fell behind him with 1:26 remaining in the third period, and Dainius Zubrus was there, more than willing to scoop up the spare change and flick the puck into the vacant net behind the Bruins netminder for the winning goal in New Jersey’s 2-1 win.
So there was no miracle finish like last Saturday night, when the Bruins scored two extra-attacker goals in the final two minutes against Ottawa, winning in a shootout. Despite the loss, however, Thomas insisted that there was plenty of reason for optimism on the ice.
“The direction we’ve been playing in the past few games is the right direction,” Thomas said. “And we’re getting effort and getting people moving their legs and we’re getting guys playing physical and we’re getting going toward the net so we’re doing lots of good things.
“Not tonight, but we’re somewhat getting rewarded: coming back against Ottawa, getting at least one point against Philly.”
The Bruins were 94 seconds from garnering a point for the fourth straight game, but instead the cruel fate of the hockey gods worked against the Black and Gold on this night.
Head coach Claude Julien  seemed to sense that afterward and wrote it off as one of those games where the Bruins didn’t get the breaks.
“This is one of those nights that throughout the course of a season that you lose a hockey game probably because the other team got one extra bounce going their way,” Julien said. “Both goals were loose pucks right behind Timmy [Tim Thomas]. We hit the post at the end looking to get back into the game. I think I have to take the positive out of that game and work with that. It was what I call a ‘heavy’ game, meaning that both teams were strong on the puck and it was a hard-fought battle from start to finish.”
Last year, the Bruins were 5-6 [5-3-3] before going on a remarkable 11-1-1 tear in November, on their way to a number one seed in the Eastern Conference.
“It is coming around,” Julien said. “There are a lot of things that have to happen. There are a couple of our top end players that are not at the top of their game yet. There are still some team injuries that will slow us down a little bit. What we are seeing are positive signs that the team is coming around. I am not trying to duplicate anything here, but we didn’t get going last year until November.
“If people want to make those assessments, we were what we were last year at this time and we battled. You can’t make comparisons. Every year is a different year. You have to get bounces. You have to be healthy. There are a ton of things that come into play. You just have to take this year and work on making this year successful. That is all that we should be thinking about right now,” Julien added.