What Tim Thomas did – and didn’t – see on the Capitals’ game-winner
|04.14.12 at 9:29 pm ET|
There’s an old hockey adage that was proven very true Saturday as the Capitals tied the Bruins at a game apiece in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series – you can’t stop what you can’t see.
When Marcus Johansson outworked Johnny Boychuk for the loose puck in the defensive cornerboards, the Swede fed his native countryman Nicklas Backstrom to nearly the exact same spot Chris Kelly won Game 1.
Only difference this time was that there was a lot more traffic in front of the goalie. And in this case, Tim Thomas practically had no chance, unless he was lucky enough to have the puck hit him. No such luck.
“I just had time to yell ‘screen’ and then I think I picked it up about halfway to me, but it was one of those knuckle [shots],” Thomas said. “You can’t get a read on exactly where it’s going. It is what it was.”
Asked if the shot dipped on him or just fluttered, Thomas again couldn’t describe what he couldn’t see.
“I didn’t see it enough to tell you,” Thomas added.
It was a bizarre kind of game for Thomas, who thought he was going to smother a puck that fluttered in on him in the second period. But out of nowhere Greg Zanon collided with him as he was trying to cover and Troy Brouwer was on the spot to find it, and flip a backhander between his legs while he was on the ground trying to get on it.
“Well when I figured out where it was, two things: First, pucks like that, normally you put the paddle of your stick behind it and cover it. But then I realized I couldn’t without jamming [Greg Zanon] in the face,” Thomas said. “And then the other thing was, you don’t like to cover it with the stick underneath, because you can’t trap it all the way. So I waited just a half-a-second for his hand to clear. I didn’t even know that Brouwer was over there. I didn’t even see the stick. I never saw that live, out of any of my vision. I never saw the stick come in and hit it.
“I couldn’t cover it. The stick would’ve been there, then it would’ve ended up being the same. You know what I mean?”