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Thomas Stays Focused

But the B's goalie admitted he's happy the B's took the Northeast crown

Monday, 04.2.2012 / 9:23 AM ET / Features
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Thomas Stays Focused
BostonBruins.com -- Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien characterized the B's 2-1 victory over the Rangers best when he said, postgame, "You know for once we got some breaks and instead of the other way around."

However, the B's best breaks in the important victory -- a win that gave Boston the Northeast Division crown and the 2nd overall seed in the Eastern Coference Playoffs -- happened to be highlight reel saves from goaltender Tim Thomas.

"Yeah he saved his best for the end, there’s no doubt about that," said Julien of his goalie's late game heroics. "For two periods, I think we did a pretty good on in front of him and limiting the shots, but they were a desperate team in the third and they’re going to do whatever they had to do to try and tie it up and win it."

But Thomas was there 29 times in the second and third period (33 times overall) as the B's outlasted the Rangers.

"This is a tough building to play in," admitted Thomas. "It’s dark, there’s funny bounces all over the place, and plus they’re a good team - they play solid hockey.

We have a chance to seal it up and to take all the hope out of Ottawa...so it's nice to do that. - Tim Thomas
"Anytime you can come in here towards the end of the year; we need a win to seal up top in the division, I think it’s a good thing."

It was a very good thing as the B's goalie probably earned himself a day or two off beyond Monday's respite. But beyond the rest and the B's 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, Thomas also admitted he is happy that the B's earned another division title.

"It feels good," he said. "Theoretically, we’d have plenty of time to get that extra two points, but why wait?

"We have a chance to seal it up and to take all the hope out of Ottawa...so it’s nice to do that."

As such, Thomas laid it all on the line as the Rangers pressed for a tying goal.

"I felt pretty good, so from my own perspective I just wanted to continue," said the reigning Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy-winner. "I stayed focused.

"I really wanted to get out of here with a win, and as the third period went on I really wanted a regulation win because I didn’t want to go to overtime or a shootout."

Now, with no practice on Monday and three regular season games remaining on the docket, Thomas might be more of a spectator when the B's take on Pittsburgh (Tuesday in Boston), Ottawa (Thursday in Ontario) and Buffalo (on Saturday, back in Massachusetts).

"I think our goal is to continue to get better and better and build towards the playoffs," said Thomas. "I think we’re heading in the right direction, so the remaining games we have left we should continue to do the same thing.

"Now, we’re not actually playing for position in the conference but we’re still playing for our own momentum and our own confidence going into the playoffs."

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
2 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
3 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
4 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
5 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
6 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
7 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
8 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 80 32 36 12 68
L. Eriksson 82 30 33 13 63
D. Krejci 72 17 46 4 63
B. Marchand 77 37 24 21 61
R. Spooner 80 13 36 -9 49
T. Krug 81 4 40 9 44
M. Beleskey 80 15 22 6 37
Z. Chara 80 9 28 12 37
J. Hayes 75 13 16 -12 29
D. Pastrnak 51 15 11 3 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 31 22 8 .915 2.56
J. Gustavsson 11 9 1 .908 2.72
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