There have been many whispers around Boston stating a case to bench Tim Thomas so he can be fresh for the playoff and Stanley Cup run, but Claude Julien continues to ride his number one goalie with six games remaining in the season.
Thomas is 4-1 in his last five games after previously losing five out of his last seven. There was much panic in Bruins nation, but Thomas has silenced every one and he has returned to form with the playoffs just around the corner.
Thomas got his most recent win versus the Tampa Lightning where he was stellar turning away 16 of 18 shots in the win. The 2011 Venzina winner talked about the saves he made on Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell right before the Bruins scored their third goal.
“I was going to get aggressive on him (Stamkos) because he can pick those corners so well,” Thomas said. “I was trying to take away everything on Stamkos and fortunately he went glove on that one and the other one on Purcell, I was already down on my knees so I decided to stay on my knees. To be honest with you, that was just lucky that hit off somebody before it hit me off my head. So that was just a positioning save, but you know, we went down, took the lead and obviously it felt good because those points are more important to us than they are to them.”
Thomas realizes from here on out there are no easy games and each nigh the team must come out with a competitive attitude.
“I mean we had a few easy games over the course of the season, but this time of year, you’ve got teams that are battling for playoff positions or teams that seem to be out of positions to they’re playing very well relaxed,” Thomas said. “It’s making for some tight games.”
Although the Lightning did not have a high shot total, Thomas knows he has to be aware for a full 60 minutes.
“I try not to be too conscious of that,” Thomas said. “I just try to keep myself loose in case you’ve got to make some big movements when you do get the next chance. You’ve got to take every game as it goes and adjust to each game no matter how it plays out and do the best you can.”
The Boston Bruins have a five point lead over the Ottawa Senators with six games to play. A lead like this for the Bruins could spell Tim Thomas for half the remaining games and give him a rest for the 2012 Stanley Cup run. Look for Marty Turco to see some time between the pipes for the black and gold.