About a half-hour to go before the puck goes down on today's noon matinee between the Bruins and Devils here on Causeway Street.
Boston coach Claude Julien, addressing the media outside the club's dressing room, said goalie Tim Thomas--sidelined by an unspecified injury--is getting ''closer'' to a return to game action.
''If not today,'' mused Julien, raising the prospect that Thomas could start against the Devils, ''then maybe tomorrow.'' The Senatosr will play the Vault tomorrow night (7:05 faceoff).
Thomas is taking shots during hte traditional pre-game warmup, but it was Tuukka Rask, winner of the last four straight, who led the club on to the ice for the warmup. Rask likely will get the call for a sixth straight start.