|Tim Thomas skips White House based on political beliefs, will make statement via Facebook||01.23.12 at 3:05 pm ET|
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was a notable absence at the White House Monday when President Obama honored the Stanley Cup Champions. According to the Boston Globe, Thomas chose not to attend based on political beliefs but will not be suspended by the team.
Thomas, a known fan of conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, won both the Vezina and Conn Smyth last season, breaking the single-season record for save percentage and leading the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup victory in 39 years.
Thomas will address the situation on Facebook at 6 p.m.
|Lightning end seven-game losing streak, beat sloppy Bruins||01.17.12 at 10:09 pm ET|
The Bruins were just sluggish and sloppy enough for the Lightning to end their seven-game losing streak, as Tampa Bay defeated the B’s, 5-3, Tuesday night.
Nathan Horton had two goals, but his contributions weren’t enough to make up for another off-night for the Bruins.
The Lightning took the lead when Vincent Lecavalier sent a loose puck past Tim Thomas at 7:11 of the first period. Horton tied the game at 4:28 of the second, but Tom Pyatt gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead before Horton tied it once more. The Lightning then regained the lead on Ryan Malone‘s 10th goal of the season, but Daniel Paille scored on a shorthanded breakaway to make it 3-3 in the third period. Dominic Moore gave the Lightning the lead for good with 3:45 remaining in the game. Steven Stamkos added an empty-netter.
The Bruins now have lost two of their last three games. They will play again Thursday in New Jersey before returning home to face the Rangers.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
— The B’s slept through the first period, as they managed only two shots on goal during 5-on-5 play. They added four shots on two power plays, but it was a rough first 20 minutes the B’s.
— It looked like more of the 2009-10 Tim Thomas for the Bruins on Tuesday. Thomas is known for his unorthodox, aggressive style, and it bit the Bruins in the rear when he got a little too aggressive on Pyatt’s second goal. Thomas dove out to stop Steve Downie, and Pyatt was able to poke the puck into the net. That wasn’t the lone instance in which Thomas looked shaky, but with Thomas’ style of play he will occasionally have a night like Tuesday. The fact that these games have come so infrequently perfectly illustrates how impressive Thomas’ last 16 months have been.
— The Bruins officially can’t complain about other players diving for the rest of the season after Tyler Seguin reinvented the move on a Stamkos hook. The play occurred midway through the period, so it cost the B’s a power play in which they could have taken the lead. Given that Moore scored the game-winner after the penalties, the game could have been much different.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
— Claude Julien called out Horton after Monday night’s game, telling reporters the right winger needed to pick his game up. Once again, Julien’s words paid off. Horton, who had three shots on goal over the previous three games, had four shots on goal through the first two periods Tuesday and added his 15th and 16th goals of the year. If Horton can avoid the slumps and lethargic stretches he’s been prone to, he could put up 30 goals this season. He should be a safe bet to surpass his total of 26 from last season.
— Good to see Paille with some strong finishing skills, as his back-hander past Mathieu Garon came on his second shorthanded breakaway of the night.
Earlier in the period, Paille took the puck from Eric Brewer at the blue line to give himself a shorthanded breakaway, but his wrist shot was blocked by Garon before going off the post.
|Tim Thomas among the first six players voted to All-Star Game||01.05.12 at 11:17 am ET|
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was the top vote-getter in the fan voting portion of the All-Star Game selection process, meaning he will play in the game for the fourth consecutive time.
Thomas received 626,540 votes, which placed him more than 120,000 ahead of Toronto goalie James Reimer.
The 37-year-old Thomas is currently second in the NHL in save percentage, behind teammate Tuukka Rask. Thomas has a .940 save percentage and a 1.90 goals against average, the latter of which ranks third in the league. Rask leads the league with a 1.61 GAA.
Thomas was named the All-Star Game in 2008, 2009 and 2011. There was no All-Star Game in 2010 due to the Winter Olympics.
The Bruins’ goaltender was one of the first six players selected to the All-Star Game. Senators Erik Karlsson, Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf were the are the other five. Later this month, 36 more players will be chosen and the teams will be determined by a fantasy draft.
|Tim Thomas would rather ‘hide what a nut’ he is than be on 24/7||01.02.12 at 1:25 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — If Tim Thomas is as strange as Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, he doesn’t want people to know it.
With the Winter Classic set to be played Monday in Philadelphia, both the game and its accompanying television show, NHL 24/7 were popular topics in the Bruins’ dressing room after their practice at Ristuccia Arena.
The show, which follows the participating teams behind the scenes in the weeks leading up to the game, is fascinating for hockey-lovers to watch, but might be a lot for the players to handle.
Bruins players said Monday that while they would love to play in the Winter Classic again, they might have reservations about having to be on the show. Some players, such as Bryzgalov, have let their quirky personalities turn them into stars of the show, but Thomas wouldn’t be so quick to do the same.
“I’d absolutely hate that,” Thomas said of being on the show. “Having cameras around all the time, I don’t care what you say, it changes the way you act. You’re either going to play for the camera or end up being quitter than you normally are. One way or another, I’d find it hard to be real with the camera.”
Added a grinning Thomas: “I’d rather hide what a nut I am rather than advertise it to the whole world like that.”
Bryzgalov’s fascination with the universe, his knowledge of the death penalty in China and his comparing his Siberian Husky to a “hot girl” have made this season’s show a hit. Thomas doesn’t have many interesting analogies for his pets.
“I’ve got a German Shepard and a mutt,” he said with a smile. “Good dogs.”
Thomas likes what the show is able to bring to fans, but he feels there would be a limit regarding how comfortable he would be with cameras following him around at all times.
“You get the camera around all the time like that and you start to turn hockey players into Jersey Shore cast members or an MTV kind of thing like that,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the way it should be, personally.”
|Rich Peverley to return to Bruins lineup||12.31.11 at 2:33 pm ET|
Bruins forward Rich Peverley will return to the lineup Saturday night against the Stars, coach Claude Julien confirmed to reporters following the team’s morning skate. Tim Thomas was first netminder off the ice in the morning skate and is expected to get the start in goal.
Peverley missed the team’s last two games with an undisclosed injury that Julien said was helped by rest. The team kept him out of the lineup last Friday agaisnt the Panthers and this Wednesday against the Coyotes. With Peverley’s return to the lineup, Zach Hamill will be a healthy scratch.
In 30 games this season, Peverley has six goals and 19 assists for 25 points.
|Andy Brickley on D&C: ‘I really don’t see a whole lot of challenge from anyone else in the conference’||12.28.11 at 12:10 pm ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley talked with Dennis & Callahan guest hosts Tom Caron and Chris Mannix on Wednesday morning to discuss the Bruins’ busy second-half schedule, which teams provide the biggest challenge to the B’s in the Eastern Conference, and NHL First Star of the Week Brad Marchand.
Last week, Marchand scored a goal in the 3-2 victory over the Canadiens and capped off the week with a hat trick and two assists in the Bruins’ 8-0 dismantling of the Panthers.
“I think we should be a little surprised to the degree that he’s playing as well as he’s playing,” Brickley said. “I think any good team and any good young player that fits into a real good hockey club that’s deep and balanced like Boston, you expect those young players to get better from their rookie seasons and you’ve certainly seen that from both [Tyler] Seguin and Marchand. To think that he would be this good this early — this productive and this reliable — is a little bit of a surprise. But keep in mind both of those young players bring a nice element of speed along with their skill set to the Bruins.”
Brickley has been just as impressed by the play of Patrice Bergeron, who is on pace to have his most productive season and has lifted Marchand and Seguin.
“They play with a guy in the middle like Bergeron and that’s a huge benefit to them,” Brickley said. “It allows them to play to their strengths, have a little bit more freedom offensively because Bergeron will distribute the puck, he’ll take care of all three zones, and he’ll win his puck battles, and he’s so reliable and dependable yet he’s got an offensive flair himself. So to have that kind of centerman in the middle — that kind of experience, that kind of talent — is a huge benefit for those two guys.”
|Andy Brickley on D&C: Bruins ‘the best team in the NHL’||12.21.11 at 12:14 pm ET|
NESN analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning with guest hosts Dale Arnold and Bob Ryan for his weekly discussion the Bruins.
The Bruins are the Eastern Conference leaders after winning 19 of their last 22 game. While they only hold a one point edge on the Flyers, the Bruins man handled the Flyers in a 6-0 win last Saturday, taking complete control over the East. The Bruins are in the middle of a five-day break right before the holiday season, giving Brickley and guest D&C hosts Bob Ryan and Dale, plenty to talk about before the Bruins get back in action against the Panthers on Friday. Brickley told the hosts that he thought the Bruins are currently playing better than any other Eastern Conference team.
“They certainly are right now, I don’t think there’s any question about it,” Brickley said. “You can point to all the statistics and numbers you want, but just give it the eyeball test and watch this team play. I guess the simplest way to look at it is as a collection of six defensemen, four lines, two goaltenders, the matchups that the Bruins get because of that depth and balance makes them the better team on most nights. And when you have that believability because you’re Stanley Cup champions — which was really the only element missing, I thought, from a pretty confident team over the last couple of years despite some serious playoff dramatic defeats — that once they became champions, that learning to win was embedded in them. And that’s how they play now. And if you combine those elements, yeah, they are the best team in the NHL, as we speak.”
Brickley chalked up the Bruins’ early season struggles as purely an emotional battle that veterans hadn’t dealt with before.
“They couldn’t get the emotional needle to where it needed to be,” Brickley said. “I think people were well aware of that within the organization, players included, that that was going to be the toughest task. I think you saw the younger players not have a problem with it as much as the older players, the established players, the guys that maybe had not won a Stanley Cup and now were finally champions. To understand where they needed to be emotionally game in and game out and to have to do it just a couple of months after doing it to the middle of June and try to do it in October was more difficult than anybody realized, myself included.
“I didn’t expect them to start 3-7. I thought at worst-case scenario maybe a .500 team through the first four or five weeks of the season, which would have been fine with me. But I got a little concerned at 3-7. When I heard players like Tim Thomas and Milan Lucic say, ‘You know, we’re not that far off,’ you look at the game tape and you break it down and you say maybe they’re right, what’s missing? And it was that emotion, that physical engagement that comes with the emotion of being involved in a game was the only thing that was lacking. And they found it.”
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