SAN JOSE, Calif. While it seems pretty clear that Marty Turco wont be getting the starting nod in San Jose on Thursday night, Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is going to need a breather before turning 38 years old at the beginning of next month.
Thomas has played in 13 straight games between the pipes, and its a no-brainer that Bs head coach Claude Julien will call his number again against a Sharks team at the HP Pavilion on Thursday night. But the 36-year-old Turco could be getting another call soon with the Bruins officially playing every other day for the remaining 10 games of the year starting in San Jose.
The Bruins would hope so as playing even seven out of the remaining 10 tilts is going to put Thomas over 60 games played for the season, and toss an undesirable workload on him in the seasons final two months.
The Bruins clearly dont want a repeat of the abysmal start against the Tampa Bay Lightning where Turco was knocked out of the game just four minutes into the action. If Turco were to stagger out of the gate badly again for the Bruins, it might be the last starting assignment hed get until the Bs were mathematically assured of the Northeast Division title.
But that also melds into the thinking for the Bs coaching staff. If the Bruins were able to win the first two games of the West Coast trip or at least take three out of four points against Sharks and Kings clubs that are fighting for the playoffs then seeing Turco against the Anaheim Ducks in the second game of a back-to-back weekend of hockey wouldnt be out of the realm.
It all depends on how much space the Bruins are able to create between themselves and the Ottawa Senators leading into the Sunday afternoon matinee at the Honda Center. Julien admitted as much after practice on Wednesday in San Jose.
Its still early since hes come here. Hes been better every single day that hes been here and we didnt bring him in here to sit on the bench. We hope to utilize him. But at the same time from an organizational standpoint you have to look at where we are in the standings.
Wed like to get Tim some rest here, and hopefully our play will dictate the way we use him moving forward. That way maybe we can get Tim some rest.
One thing that seems certain: Tuukka Rask probably wont be back before the end of the regular season and Anton Khudobin is just now taking shots on the ice as he returns from a wrist injury that knocked him in a painful case of terrible timing for the minor league goaltender.
Itll have to be Turco Time sooner or later unless the Bruins can limit opponents to 13 shots a game as they did against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Monday nights blowout victory.