Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas stopped 24 shots tonight in a shutout of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Afterward, he credited his opponent his opponent and his teammates before talking about the improbable journey that has him in the Stanley Cup finals.
"Nobody in the world would have thought this a year ago today," said Thomas. "I think there were a lot of people thinking I was over the hill. I knew it wasn't true. But I put in a lot of work last summer. It's amazing the year I had. I'm just so blessed."
Thomas was probably better in several high-scoring games in this series than he was in Boston's two shutouts. Tonight he thought Tampa's Dwayne Roloson was better than he was.
"I wasn't concerned about my team," said Thomas. "I was concerned about Roloson playing so well. He played an unbelievable game today. It put a lot of pressure on me. We came out and we got a lot of shots and did everything we needed to do to win, and he held them in and basically made me have to save everything."
The Bruins put 38 shots on Roloson, while Boston's defense made it slightly easier for Thomas.
"It's very comforting going on the ice," said Thomas. "All of my defense has done a great job. We're going to the Stanley Cup finals, that's obvious. But Zdeno and Dennis [Seidenberg] really had incredible games tonight. Dennis Seidenberg was blocking shots right up there until the last minute. They couldn't even get in the zone because he was blocking everything at the blue line."
Thomas was fairly emotional in his interview, touching on what he and former University of Vermont teammate Martin St. Louis said to each other after the game.
"I told him he's a warrior and I love him. "And he said -- he was obviously emotionally distraught because he gives everything he has out there -- but basically he said, 'Go win the whole thing.'"