By Michael Whitmer
Not long after arriving from a cross-continent flight from Vancouver, a select number of Bruins and coach Claude Julien met with the assembled media at TD Garden today.
Tim Thomas is the favorite to win his second Vezina Trophy, but his miscue in overtime — he came out to challenge Alex Burrows, fell down after Burrows shot-faked, and could only watch helplessly as Burrows netted the game-winner 11 seconds in — is one of the reasons the Bruins trail the Canucks, 2-0, in the Stanley Cup Final.
By setting an NHL record for save percentage in a single season, he’s also one of the reasons why the Bruins are preparing to play their first home game in June in franchise history tomorrow night.
The first question posed to Thomas today? “When you’re a goalie who challenges a lot, do your defensemen have to defend differently expecting that, and is there any room for you to make adjustments in regard to that?”
Thomas thought for a second, then with the slightest of smiles, said, “I have a pretty good idea of how to play goalie, I’m not going to be taking suggestions at this time. I’m just going to keep playing the way I am.”
Asked a similar question by the same TSN reporter, Julien didn’t hesitate to come to his goalie’s defense.
“To me, he’s the Vezina Trophy winner. We are here right now because of his contribution. For us to be sitting here having to answer those kind of questions is ridiculous to me,” Julien said. “He’s won a Vezina Trophy already, and he’s probably going to win one this year. To question his way of playing is really looking for something to talk about. Yesterday he made some unbelievable saves to keep us in the game, so if you want to focus on that last goal — which I think there were a lot of other players who could have done a better job — it’s focusing on the wrong thing.”