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Thomas and Fernandez a Terrific Tandem

Both goalies continue to put the Bruins in a position to win

Tuesday, 11.18.2008 / 1:41 PM ET / Features
By Angela Stefano  - BostonBruins.com
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Thomas and Fernandez a Terrific Tandem
Tim Thomas
Boston, MA -- On Monday night, following the Bruins 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien was thinking about goaltending.

“He’s been playing well for us, and I can’t say enough about the guy,” said Julien of the evening's starter, Tim Thomas. “Since day one he’s been great.

“And our other goaltender has done the job (too).

“One of the reasons you win hockey games is (that) your goaltenders are good and we’ve got two of them right now that are doing a great job.”

“One of the reasons you win hockey games is (that) your goaltenders are good and we’ve got two of them right now that are doing a great job.” - Claude Julien
The other goaltender, of course, is Manny Fernandez who is currently undefeated in his last three games.

Last week, the Bruins were in a similar situation as the Leafs, with lots of travel and little rest and a home game against a division opponent – the Montreal Canadiens.

Thomas had been strong in net the night before in a win against Chicago, but Julien said he wanted a “fresh goaltender” in case the Habs game got rough.

“We had to give ourselves an edge somewhere,” said Julien at the time, before adding that, as a coach, he is fortunate to even have the choice between two excellent goalies.

“It’s important for me to try and handle it in a way where both of them maintain that standard of goaltending,” he said.  “They both deserve to play, but we all know goaltenders like to play as much as they can, and right now, they’re both responding.

Thomas States His Case
In the end, politicians know that elections are all about results. Hockey players think the same thing about berths to the NHL All-Star Game. So, despite running a disappointing fifth in the Eastern Conference voting for goaltending, Boston goalie Tim Thomas just keeps plugging along, hoping to sway the electorate with his undeniable history of delivering results – often against long odds. More...  
“Not only that, I think they’re both very supportive of each other, and that’s something that’s important.”

Together, Fernandez and Thomas have the Bruins competing for the goals-against-average title. Boston, with a 2.00 GAA trail the Minnesota Wild by just .02.

“The last two games were pretty big challenges,” said Fernandez after the Montreal game.  “I don’t try to make too much of it, just go out there and give it everything I’ve got.”

Keeping it simple has worked well for the goalie, who is 4-0-1 in his last five starts, with a goals against average of 2.31 and a save percentage of .919.

“I’m having a blast.  It’s fun when you’re winning,” Fernandez said.  “We have shown a lot of character, and we have pulled through some tough times.  It just seems like we are getting on a roll.”

Although he made 27 saves against the Habs, and let just one shot by Saku Koivu through, Manny was giving most of the credit to the teammates playing in front of him.

“The team was amazing tonight,” he said.  “We didn’t give them much.  We skated with them and matched their speed.”

His view from the bench and from the net lets him see what the team’s been doing well lately.

“Our PK is doing well, and our power play is giving us chances.  We have scored some great goals,” Fernandez said.  “We just have to keep working, keep doing what we’re doing now…so we don’t slump and just stay at this level.”

Manny Fernandez
That night, Fernandez also got a pretty good look at the fight between Milan Lucic and Michael Komisarek.

“I had some great tickets,” he joked.  “Any time you start playing physical like that, the crowd loves it.  A guy like that is going to bring people to their feet.”

These days, both of Boston’s goalies are doing the same exact thing.

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
2 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
3 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
4 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
5 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
6 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
7 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
8 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 53 19 26 7 45
L. Eriksson 53 16 24 10 40
D. Krejci 43 12 27 1 39
R. Spooner 53 11 27 -8 38
B. Marchand 48 25 12 11 37
Z. Chara 51 7 21 7 28
M. Beleskey 51 8 18 8 26
T. Krug 52 3 21 2 24
J. Hayes 51 11 12 -8 23
B. Connolly 50 7 9 -6 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 19 16 5 .916 2.56
J. Gustavsson 9 3 1 .911 2.58
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