BOSTON — In the first two series, Vezina Trophy favorite Tim Thomas had proven why he’s been the best goaltender in the NHL this season. The 37-year-old had moments where he was standing on his head – as seen in Game 2 against Philly last series – and has made some clutch saves in crucial moments, like his save against Brian Gionta in Game 5 versus Montreal.
So far against Tampa, however, Thomas has had his struggles. Despite his shutout in Game 3, Thomas has given up 15 goals in four games and his blunder in Game 4 led to Bolts forward Teddy Purcell’s tally at 6:55 of the second period, which ultimately proved to be a momentum killer for the Bruins.
After the loss Saturday, Thomas made a bold statement guaranteeing that the Bruins will win the series in six or seven games.
“We’re going to win,” he said. “I don’t know how it’s going to be at any one point in time or any one game, but what’s important is we come back in Game 5 and win that game.”
Perhaps this is what the doctor ordered for Thomas. And perhaps this is what the doctor ordered for the Bruins going into Game 5.
And given Thomas’ compete level – as Claude Julien often states – it is no surprise that he would make those remarks as stated by his teammates.
“Well that’s Timmy. He’s a confident goaltender,” Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. “He’s been our MVP since day one here. He’s been our best player and he’s been our best player in the playoffs thus far.
“Being the goaltender, he has a lot of control of what happens and as a player and his teammate you want to do whatever you can to prove him right.”
Earlier this postseason, David Krejci guaranteed a victory in Game 2 against the Habs after the Bruins’ loss in Game 1 to their arch-rivals. Though the Bruins came away empty-handed in the second game, they bounced back in Montreal winning two games at the Bell Centre en route to clinching the series in seven games.
Like Krejci, Thomas’ bold statement will either come back to haunt him should the Bruins falter to the Lightning, or he’ll have his own Mark Messier moment if the Bruins advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1990.