LIBEREC, Czech Republic — Though Patrice Bergeron  clogged the stat sheet with his gaudy numbers on Tuesday night (five points), it was a lower number that may have been the most positive sign for the Bruins as they crushed Liberec HC in 7-1 fashion. Tim Thomas  was outstanding in net, sprawling around in his signature fashion and limiting the Czech club to one goal on the night.
Thomas came out of the gate particularly strong, stopping all 14 shots he faced in the first period. At the end of the night, Thomas, who is coming off offseason hip surgery, saw the light at the end of his recovery’s tunnel shining a little brighter than he had throughout the summer.
“I need to feel like myself, and it’s definitely coming. I’m working on it in practice, and I think it showed up in my game during this game here,” Thomas said. “… I guess when I’m playing and feeling comfortable, I’m not thinking. I actually felt way more in control than the Washington game, so I’m making steps in the right direction.”
Though coach Claude Julien  agreed with the assessment that Thomas looked fluid in the victory, he also pointed to the offensive explosion and defensive stability put on display by the Bruins over the course of the night.
“When you play well in front of goaltender, it gives him confidence because all he has to do is worry about stopping the puck,” Julien said. “Our guys did a great job in front of him, and when he had to make the saves, he was there to make them. That’s what’s important, because if you’ve got your goaltender wondering if you’re going to be in the right position, then he’s second-guessing himself, and it was nice to play in front of him tonight because it gave him the confidence to make the saves he had to make.”
The Bruins’ preseason is now in the books. They will hold practices in Prague on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before opening the regular season against the Coyotes.
STITCHES FOR PAILLE
Julien said after the game that Daniel Paille  received 15 stitches on his lip after getting hit in the face by either a stick or a puck in the first period. Though the coach and reporters weren’t sure exactly what him (there were no replays except on scoring plays at the arena) nothing appeared remotely serious.