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Thomas Remains Confident

"We're heading in the right direction."

Monday, 11.2.2009 / 10:41 AM ET / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  -
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Thomas Remains Confident
4:11 p.m.
The Bruins have just jumped off the bus from practice and are done with team related activities for the day.

Look for a link to post-practice video from Coach Julien here.

2:03 p.m.
There's a lot of laughter coming from the semicircle surrounding Coach Julien as he talks to the players -- a very good sign from a team that has been under a lot of pressure.

1:44 p.m.
We're about 15-minutes into practice...

The Bruins are taking a lot of shots and concentrating on finishing their chances as Coach Julien puts his club through their paces in Joe Louis Arena.

Practice is very up-tempo and there is lots of chatter, as well.

10:41 a.m.

Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (17 saves on 18 shots) , who played very well on Sunday despite allowing the game winner to New York's Marian Gaborik, was asked if he felt like a pitcher whose team wasn't getting any hits after the B's 1-0 loss to the Rangers.

Philosophical as ever, Thomas (now 4-5-0 with a .922 save percentage and 2.66 goals against average) thought for a second and said, "Well I've never been a pitcher."

Laughter followed from the press corps. However, after the Bruins loss there was certainly no laughing coming from the Black & Gold.


Don't look for Thomas to hit the panic button. He thinks the Bruins -- and particularly the defensive corps -- are playing quite well, thank you very much.

"Even the game before [Edmonton], against New Jersey it was pretty good," said Thomas. "Our defensive effort is good and, actually, our offensive effort is good, too."

But the goals aren't happening. But Thomas, who has the best seat in the house, says it's not for lack of effort on the Bruins part.

"The guys are in their second game in two days and I think they are trying as hard as they just didn't happen," he said as he pointed out that New York's defense had played a heck of a game, too.

"Lundqvist was solid, but their team D was pretty good. You know? Actually both teams' 'D' was good," said Thomas. "Can you think of an odd man rush for either team tonight?"

Nobody could.

"Even on the power plays, both teams, neither one of them...were able to set up any good plays, because the other team was doing a pretty good job on the penalty kill," he said. "Basically it was just go for shots and tips. And both sides [were relegated] to that."

As evidence, Thomas had recounted his view of Gaborik's goal (at 15:51 of the 2nd).

"I didn't see the shot released," said Thomas. "I caught it maybe eight feet out from me and I saw it fluttering out of my peripheral vision.

"[There] was a crowd and everyone was trying to play good D, but I didn't pick it up until a little bit later.

"But we were actually in pretty good defensive position and it was kind of a lucky shot as far as it went up and he fanned on it," explained Tim. "I'm not even sure if he could have put it where it ended up going if he did a straight shot.

"I think [Blake] Wheeler might have been in the way if he didn't."

Thomas, despite all efforts to the contrary, generally wears his hear on his sleeve.

When he is upset or worried or mad -- you know it. But none of that was there in the visiting locker room after the New York game.

In fact, Tim looked calm.

"Yah, you'd like to win them all," said Thomas. "But we're heading in the right direction -- even if every game we're not quite getting the results."

And that goes for his own game, too.

"I feel good," he said. "It's been kind of feast or famine [in terms of shots and saves] since the beginning of the year when we were playing a different game than we are now.

"Now we are playing the kind of game that I remember more from last year. And that [means the B's are] heading in the right direction."

Boston returns to practice this afternoon in Detroit. They face the Red Wings on Tuesday.




1 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
2 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
3 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
4 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
5 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
6 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
7 BUF 57 23 28 6 135 156 52
8 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49


P. Bergeron 54 21 26 10 47
L. Eriksson 55 18 25 12 43
D. Krejci 45 13 29 5 42
B. Marchand 50 27 14 14 41
R. Spooner 55 11 28 -8 39
Z. Chara 53 8 22 12 30
J. Hayes 53 12 14 -6 26
M. Beleskey 53 8 18 11 26
T. Krug 54 3 21 1 24
B. Connolly 52 7 12 -4 19
T. Rask 20 16 5 .917 2.55
J. Gustavsson 10 3 1 .913 2.54
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