Beers: Don't expect Thomas' workload to decrease

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Beers: Don't expect Thomas' workload to decrease

Tim Thomas has slumped with the rest of the Bruins over the last few months, which raises concerns among those who feel the B's need the Thomas of 2010-11 -- the impregnable last line of defense -- to defend their Stanley Cup championship.

Making it worse is the injury to Tuukka Rask and the ineptitude of newly acquired Marty Turco, which is forcing coach Claude Julien to lean on Thomas as Boston attempts to hold off Ottawa for first place in the Northeast Division (and second or third place in Eastern Conference) down the stretch.

But Bob Beers, the ex-B's defenseman who now serves as analyst on the Bruins' radio broadcasts, doesn't think Julien has a choice.

"It's really important for them to finish second in the conference," Beers told Lou Merloni on 'Sports Sunday'. "That gives them home-ice advantage for the first round. That's imperative for them right now. And Thomas gives you the best chance to do that."
Beers says it's obvious Thomas is playing tired - "Look at his age; look at how many games he's played . . . He played the 25 games in the playoffs last year. He went deep. June 15 was the last game." -- and there could be little things Julien can do to to keep him rested.

"They don't have that many back-to-back games, so you get a day in between, you give him some rest in between, you give him a rest maybe on game days where you don't skate him in the morning," said Beers. "Whatever the case is, try to get him his rest."

Just don't expect to see much of Turco unless the Bruins can put some space between themselves and the Senators.

"If you can open up a little lead over Ottawa -- you've got the games in hand, you get a few point lead -- then maybe you'll see a little bit of a change," sand Beers. "But I don't see them deviating from Thomas being the guy right now."

That being the case, Thomas' strong performance against the Flyers in Saturday's overtime win was a hopeful sign. But Beers warns not to take too much out of it.

"That game against Philadelphia was encouraging, but I'm not convinced yet that he's out of his slump," said Beers. "It's only one game."

Patriots-Rams inactives: Slater, Coleman, Richards out

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Patriots-Rams inactives: Slater, Coleman, Richards out

FOXBORO -- The inactive lists for today's Patriots-Rams game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
S Jordan Richards
WR Matthew Slater
DL Woodrow Hamilton
RB D.J. Foster
T LaAdrian Waddle
DL Darius Kilgo
CB Justin Coleman

PATRIOTS-RAMS PREGAME

LOS ANGELES RAMS
WR Tavon Austin
DE Robert Quinn
QB Sean Mannion
TE Temarrick Hemingway
OL Rodger Saffold
DB Steve Williams
OL Pace Murphy

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling at the Bruins setting a franchise record this season for fewest practices in a regular season. Thanks compacted schedule due to the World Cup!

*Pavel Zacha is adjusting to life as a rookie in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, and things are getting better as they go along.

*Manitoba Moose players relive their favorite Star Wars moments prior to the team holding their Star Wars Night.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman sits down with new Florida Panthers head coach Tom Rowe to discuss the massive changes in that organization with the firing of Gerard Gallant.

*Good for Anders Nilson putting a rainbow decal on the back of his goalie to mask to support some gay friends that have faced public resistance in their lives.

*Bruce Garrioch has his weekly NHL notes with several players, including Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald, potentially on the trade block if anybody wants them.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson suffering a broken leg that will keep him out 6-8 weeks.

*There was no blood for the Vancouver Canucks fans, but there was still plenty of drama in a win over the Maple Leafs.

*For something completely different: The World Baseball Classic works for everybody except for Major League Baseball, and that would appear to be a problem.