|Andrew Ference on D&C: Tim Thomas ‘trying not to be a distraction’||02.10.12 at 11:18 am ET|
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning and spent some time addressing the issue of whether Tim Thomas‘ political statements have become a distraction to the team.
The Bruins have struggled to a 5-6-1 record since Thomas ignited the controversy by skipping the team’s trip to the White House on Jan. 23. Thomas on Thursday told the media that he would not answer questions about politics any more.
“I think when he doesn’t want to talk about it in the locker room, I think he’s trying to not be a distraction,” Ference said. “Like I said, in this city you definitely have to be aware of the fact that whether you like it or not, your comments and your actions are going to be scrutinized. And to a certain extent, rightfully so. We’re compensated very well to be sports figures in this town, which also comes with a certain responsibility socially.”
Added Ference: “He makes the views pretty clear. I don’t think he leaves too many blank spaces for people to guess where he stands. So, it’s his choice whether to answer or not. I think he makes it more difficult on himself not to just talk about it if he’s going to put it out there. But for us as teammates, it’s really not that difficult. Like I said, we know him. We can kind of just keep our mouths shut about it because nobody really wants to wade into that. I don’t know, it’s a mixed bag, I guess.”
Ference insisted that it doesn’t really matter what Thomas or anyone says, that it comes down to how the Bruins perform on the ice.
“We do have a tight team,” Ference said. “One of the things that makes us pretty strong is we’re very understanding of each other’s differences. … You’re never going to have the same opinions whatsoever. But the thing that makes teams good is their ability to look beyond that and respect each other even if you don’t agree with each other. Our job first and foremost isn’t to be buddies. It’s to be good teammates and play hard for each other and do whatever you can to win hockey games. That’s the most important thing. Good teams and good players realize that, and they can separate the fact that they agree with somebody or not about politics. It really doesn’t matter once you hit the ice.”
|Tim Thomas: Political comments ‘personal’||02.08.12 at 11:30 pm ET|
BUFFALO — Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was asked two questions about his Facebook comments about the Catholic church Wednesday. The first question wasn’t finished before he responded.
“That’s my personal life,” he said. “I won’t be talking about that. It has absolutely nothing to do with the game of hockey.”
Thomas was then asked whether he worried about the attention that his comments on Facebook attract.
“That’s my personal life,” he said. “I won’t be commenting on that. It has nothing to do with the game of hockey or my job as a Boston Bruin.”
|Tim Thomas posted another thing on Facebook||at 3:30 pm ET|
BUFFALO — Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas took to Facebook again Wednesday to express his political views.
Thomas posted the following on Wednesday:
“I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom.
‘In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.’
— by Martin NiemÃ¶ller, prominent German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor, best known as the author of the poem First they came….”
Thomas famously posted his reasoning for not visiting the White House on his Facebook page last month, and has used Facebook to post messages and quotes.
|Andy Brickley on D&C: ‘Too much inconsistency in the Bruins’ game right now’||02.01.12 at 10:33 am ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan Wednesday to talk about the Bruins’ first game since the All-Star break, the fans’ reaction to Tim Thomas and the Super Bowl.
Despite a sloppy start to Tuesday’s game, the Bruins’ first game in almost a week, the B’s impressed Brickley with their resolve by putting the pieces together in the third period for a 4-3 win.
“When the game was on the line and they had to take their intensity to a different level they did it in the third period,” Brickley said. “Third periods have been great for them all year. Now, if you look at the first 40, it looked like a team that had had five days off. That’s a lot of time.”
Added Brickley: “There’s still just too much inconsistency in the Bruins’ game right now.”
Tim Thomas received an ovation from the TD Garden crowd before the game, ending speculation that fans might turn on him following the White House controversy.
“If there were any boo-birds in the building, they were certainly going to get drowned out,” Brickley said, adding: “Nobody’s going to boo him. Even if his perception has changed with the Bruins fans, it’s not worthy of being booed. Absolutely not.”
As for Thomas’ play in the game, Brickley said: “He looked just like the rest of the team. He had his moments of real good play and then he had some inconsistent moments, some rebounds maybe he’d like to have back. But once again, that ultracompetitiveness takes over when the game’s on the line and he made the saves he had to make.”
|Zdeno Chara looks to keep hardest shot title for fifth straight year||01.28.12 at 3:11 am ET|
The All-Star captains picked participants for Saturday night’s skills competition, and it’s no surprise that Zdeno Chara and Shea Weber will once again square off in the hardest shot contest.
Chara, who has won the competition for the last four years (he broke his own record with a 105.9 mile per hour blast last year), will be joined by Dennis Wideman, Dion Phaneuf and rookie Luke Adams on Team Chara. Team Alfredsson’s group for the competition includes Weber, Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and rookie Justin Faulk. Chara will also participate in the skills challenge relay.
Tyler Seguin will represent Team Chara in the accuracy shooting competition. He will be joined by Jamie Benn, Marian Hossa and rookie Cody Hodgson. Representing Team Alfreddson will be Spezza, Steven Stamkos, Daniel Sedin and rookie Matt Read. Both Seguin and Tim Thomas will participate in the elimination shootout.
|Brad Marchand on M&M: Tim Thomas ‘made his decision and that’s that’||01.25.12 at 2:30 pm ET|
Bruins forward Brad Marchand made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni Wednesday afternoon and talked at length about the Bruins’ visit to the White House, time off from hockey during the All-Star break and the team’s prospects for the second half of the season.
On Monday, the Bruins visited the White House and President Barack Obama to celebrate their 2011 Stanley Cup title. For Marchand, it was an incredible opportunity that he and the team cherished.
“That was pretty cool, it was almost surreal,” Marchand said of being on stage with the president. “You see him on TV and obviously he’s such an iconic figure and it’s a room filled with cameras and everything. It was a good time.”
The visit, however, did not come without some controversy, as goaltender Tim Thomas, the 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy recipient, did not attend the ceremony. In a Facebook post, Thomas noted that he believes “the Federal government has grown out of control,” but stressed that his decision was “not about politics or party.”
Marchand said that Thomas’ absence did not take away from the Bruins’ day in Washington.
“I had fun,” Marchand said. “Timmy made his decision and that’s that.”
With the Bruins sitting at 31-14 and in first place in the Northeast Division, Marchand also stated that he feels good about the direction of the team heading into the season’s second half.
“Definitely,” he said. “We’re sitting in a very good position right now. We haven’t been as hot of late, but with a little bit of a break right now and we get back into things, hopefully we get back to the way we were playing before. We’re in a great position, especially after how we started.”
|Carey Price happy for Tim Thomas for skipping White House, standing up for what he believes in||at 12:55 am ET|
The Canadiens goaltender said Tuesday that he respects Thomas’ decision to skip the team’s day with President Barack Obama. In a statement explaining the decision, Thomas said it “was not about politics or party,” something Price got a kick out of.
“He’s not political? That’s a pretty political move,” Price told reporters with a laugh. “It’s bold. Good on him, to stand up for what he believes in.”
Price was then asked if he would visit Prime Minister Stephen Harper if the Habs ever won the Cup.
“I’d be there with bells on. That’s just me,” he said. “I don’t really have much issues with our government. Everybody has their own opinions, and it’s absolutely amazing that [Thomas] stands up for what he believes in, so good on him.”
Canadiens defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who won the Cup with the B’s, made the trip to the White House, but offered little comment on the Thomas situation.
“It’s the guy’s opinion,” Kaberle said, “and that’s it.”
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