Tim Thomas gives Alexander Khokhlachev training camp crash course
|09.19.11 at 12:44 pm ET|
Thomas wasn’t quite as aggressive Monday as he was when he took out the Vancouver forward with a mighty shove in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals, but he did provide a reminder that anyone trying to score on him had better watch out.
Russian youngster Alexander Khokhlachev, the team’s 2011 second-round pick, was coming in on Thomas during a shootout drill when Thomas darted out of his net to break up the forward’s bid. Seconds later, Khokhlachev was lying in the corner having crashed into the boards as a result of the play. He’d been tripped up by Thomas’ stick, and though he was OK, teammates exclaimed sarcastic jeers of “way to go, Timmy” to guilt the reigning Vezina winner.
Thomas could take the flack from his teammates, as he’s glad the play could be a laughing matter rather than one that featured an injury.
“Well, he lost the puck there,” Thomas said. “I hesitated just a second there and then I was like, ‘I’m going to go get it’ but then I missed the poke-check. Then, well, I just tried to stop, but I didn’t. I’m just glad nobody was hurt. We’re just playing around there.”
It’s hard for Thomas not to be competitive, but after a play like Monday’s, he noted it’s important to keep things in perspective in the first week of training camp.
“When you compete for as long as we did, it’s going to take you a while before you really want to up your competitive level,” he said. “This is the third day of camp. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t mean anything.”