Haggerty: Everybody waking up to the real Tim Thomas


Haggerty: Everybody waking up to the real Tim Thomas

In another example of his inability to leave well enough alone, former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas has alienated more of his fan base with another infamous Facebook post.

With four simple words Thomas aligned himself with an embattled Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy after the fast food executive came out with some strong statements against the legality of same-sex marriages.

Everybody thats ever enjoyed a Chick-Fil-A sandwich knows about the companys strong beliefs in religion over commerce. They are the only major fast food chain thats 100-percent closed on Sundays despite prominent placements in mall food courts all across the country.

Thomas Facebook post simply said I stand with Chick-Fil-A.

Of course, it would have been much less controversial if Thomas had posted I stand with Chick-Fil-As waffle fries and then called it a day in the Colorado bunker with a can of Spaghettios.

Never mind the rhetoric-laden argument whether supporting the sanctity of traditional marriage is the same as spouting hate about homosexual couples seeking to enter into same-sex unions. Thats a different argument for a different day, and a much longer column.

But Cathy actually called those that go against the traditional idea of heterosexual marriage as prideful and arrogant to think that we would have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.

Those are strong words and highly critical of those that believe any able-bodied, in-love adults should have the right to a legal marriage.

In the world of Cathy and Thomas and those of the same mindset a gay or lesbian couple shouldnt have the right to enter into a marriage recognized by the government, the church or their friends and families. Thomas remarks, of course, sparked plenty of discussion, rancor and even pushed some Bruins fans off the fence from supporting the Conn Smythe-winning goaltender.

Its taken some time, but as the weeks go by realization seems to be setting in for many things around Thomas.

The 38-year-old made the choice of personal politics over his teammates in the middle of last year during the teams White House visit, he whisked his family out of the Boston right around the same time and then deserted the Bruins at the end of the season to refocus on friends, family and faith.

Part of the reason the Bruins arent able to do anything this summer is because they cant move the 5 million rock that is Tim Thomas cap space.

But through all of these things most still supported Thomas after he was the main driving force that brought the Stanley Cup back to Boston for the first time in 39 years. Some even held to the amazingly misguided belief the Bs goalie would one day return to the team when he was done with his journey of self-discovery in Colorado.

But it appears that the truth is finally sinking in as Thomas continues an unflattering self-illustration on his Facebook account. Some finally dont like what theyre seeing as the goalie pulls back the curtain behind the Wizard of Oz.

We already knew that Thomas is a Tea Party supporter, somebody that thinks the Greenhouse Effect is a conspiracy for companies to make money through the green movement. Now were acutely aware that he doesnt believe in same-sex marriages. Some will say hes merely supporting traditional marriage and upholding the good word of the Bible, but then again some people still dont want to connect all the dots.

Perhaps the best take was that of Patrick Burke from the You Can Play project, who has argued vehemently, passionately and eloquently for the rights of LBGT athletes in sports over the last year. Burke met with Cam Janssen after his controversial, insensitive comments toward the gay community on the radio several weeks ago, and both athlete and activist came to a greater understanding on the issue.

Tolerance, love and understanding won out over hatred and ignorance. Thats the way it should always be in an ideal world where two adults should be allowed to pronounce their love for each other to the world.

Burke wouldnt comment on the Thomas post, but instead pushed media, fans and members of the hockey community to focus on Bruins players Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton. Chara took part in the You Can Play project supporting gay athletes when it first was born during last years All-Star weekend in Ottawa, and Thornton has been outspoken in his theoretical acceptance of any future gay teammates.

What isnt acceptable?

Its hard to understand people that continue to blindly support Thomas because he was a great hockey player or because he brought a Stanley Cup to Boston. Nobody is saying Thomas is an evil person because of his political beliefs, or that he shouldnt have the platform to spout his beliefs-based agenda.

But hes also far from heroic or great.

The once-unanimous support for Thomas is eroding in the Boston area as he alienates one group of people after another, and people are starting to get tired of his act. Just a year ago Thomas was a folk hero that could do nothing wrong in the eyes of just about everyone living in Boston.

But his rigid belief system combined with his unwillingness to ever play for the Bruins again are finally waking people up from their unwavering allegiance to the United States of Tim Thomas.

Better late than never as people continue to understand what he is all about when he starts speaking about the real world rather than stopping pucks.

Still looking for first point, Heinen stays patient


Still looking for first point, Heinen stays patient

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It may be strictly due to injuries or because Ryan Spooner is being moved back to third line center full-time, but Danton Heinen is going to get another top-six look on the wing. The 21-year-old Bruins prospect will be skating on the left wing with David Krejci and Matt Beleskey in Tuesday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild after serving as a healthy scratch last weekend against the Montreal Canadiens.

Heinen has only two shots on goal in the four games leading up to the scratch, and has been quiet offensively after leading the Bruins in goal-scoring during the preseason. Clearly there’s an adjustment to be made there, and it looked like the playmaking rookie winger was starting to develop a little more confidence trying to make plays while skating with Krejci and David Backes in last week’s win over the New Jersey Devils.

Heinen actually looked reminiscent of Krejci on a couple of plays, pulling back the puck after entering the zone and catching a trailing B’s teammate with a perfectly executed lead pass on the offensive rush. That effort plus a trip to the ninth floor press box last weekend seemed to reinforce just how much time he has to make plays, and that should be a benefit for both Heinen and his linemates.

Sometimes getting that first NHL point is the hardest part when a player breaks into the league, and it’s been that way for the young winger through his first four games.

“[Krejci] is such a good player, and I just try to complement him any way I can,” said Heinen. “You never want to be up in the press box, but it gives you a different perspective on the game. It’s a different angle. From up there it looks like you’ve got way more time. I definitely think I can be more patient with the puck, and make some smarter plays.”

Heinen started to do that in his best NHL game to date prior to being scratched against New Jersey, and it resulted in greater offensive possession and a couple of potential scoring plays getting created for the B’s second line. Unfortunately it didn’t lead to actual goals, and Heinen knows that’s what needs to happen through him if a player like him, with an offense-minded reputation from his University of Denver days, is going to stick top-6 in Boston.

“You can’t rely on the [top] guys every night,” said Heinen, who watched the Habs beat the Bruins on Saturday night while essentially shutting down Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. “When we’ve been out there we’ve kind of been getting some chances, but we’ve got to bear down.

“[Krejci] likes to play with the puck a lot, so you just get him the puck, go in hard on the forecheck and try to get open because he’s a good distributor.”

It sounds like a simple plan that might be a very good thing for young Heinen, who needs to start breaking through offensively if he wants to stick around in Boston for the long haul. 

Khudobin out three weeks as Bruins turn to Malcolm Subban


Khudobin out three weeks as Bruins turn to Malcolm Subban

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It could get a little dicey for the Bruins over the next couple of days.

Both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin were missing from Tuesday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena, and instead rookie Malcolm Subban will get the start for the Black and Gold against the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden.

Rask hasn’t been on the ice since last Thursday’s win over the New Jersey Devils when he re-aggravated a lower body injury and Khudobin will be out three weeks with an upper-body injury suffered at Monday’s practice. It appeared the B’s backup suffered a right hand/wrist injury in the early moments of the practice, and Subban was left as the lone goaltender until Boston brought up Zane McIntyre on emergency recall Tuesday morning.

Julien said the Bruins have confidence in Subban’s ability to play a great game for them, but he’s struggled so far in Providence while getting yanked from two of his four AHL starts this season.

“I just want [Subban] to go in tonight and play a really solid game because we know that he can. He’s a good goaltender, so just because he had a bit of a rough outing [in the AHL] doesn’t mean he has to have one tonight. This is an opportunity for him to play well, and to demonstrate that he’s ready to play in the NHL,” said Julien. “We have bad games and we tell our players ‘Let’s not live in the past, let’s think about what we have to do to rectify it and play better in the next game.’ So I think our goaltender is in the same situation.

“Our game plan is about playing good defense with Tuukka or without Tuukka. That doesn’t change. We understand that some of the teams that we’ve played lately (Montreal and New Jersey) are very stingy, so we have to give up the least amount of goals we can because we’re not going to score a ton against those teams. When you put a system together you believe in it, and you go out and play your game. You don’t adjust your game for other teams, and adjusting for injuries isn’t quite what we’re looking for. We’re looking for a solid performance from our team, and that will trump any injury that we have.”

Oh by the way, the Bruins also have a road game at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday in a back-to-back situation that’s less than ideal with injuries piling up. In addition a Subban/McIntyre tandem in goal, the Bruins will also be without David Backes with what Claude Julien termed “a minor issue” that also has him day-to-day.

In the good news department, Adam McQuaid will make his season debut after missing the first five games of the season with an upper body injury. Rob O’Gara was sent to the Providence Bruins to make room for him coming off injured reserve. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for tonight’s game vs. the Wild with Joe Morrow as the healthy scratch on the back end:







Liles-C. Miller