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Tim Thomas: Struggling Bruins can’t simply expect success based on last season

10.24.11 at 1:36 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — One of the bad things about returning so many players from a Stanley Cup champion team is that the next year’s squad will always be compared to, well, itself.

The Bruins are 3-5-0 to begin the season. (AP)

Maybe that’s one reason as to why Bruins fans are puzzled by the B’s 3-5-0 start to the season. Through eight games last year, the B’s were 6-2-0 with a plus-13 goal differential and three shutouts, all of which were registered by Tim Thomas. This season, they’re allowed as many goals (19) as they’ve scored, good for an even differential.

So with so many of the same guys yielding such different results, how do the Bruins explain it, and how do they respond?

“It’s a different year, different challenge,” Thomas said. “We’re in a different spot. It’s how we react to it that’s going to be the key.

“All last year, no matter what type of adversity was thrown our way, we reacted well. That’s part of what made up our identity as a team by the time the playoffs came around.”

It’s hard to imagine the Bruins continuing to play sub-.500 hockey for much longer, but to expect things to turn around is no better than expecting the Bruins to have repeated their start from a season ago. Thomas recalls the Bruins making their own luck right out of the gate last year, so he isn’t counting on things simply coming to the defending champs because of past success.

“We have to try to build that same thing this year. It’s not just there,” Thomas explained. “You don’t get it because you had it last year. You’ve got to build it again.”

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