One shot made it a lost night for Thomas

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One shot made it a lost night for Thomas

BOSTON -- It was a toss up for more than 56 minutes. One of the goalies was going to skate off the ice with a hard-earned win, the other with an oh-so-close loss.

Both Tim Thomas and Jose Theodore played well enough to take home the W, but with less than three minutes left to go, Tomas Kopecky found a way to get by Thomas for the Florida Panthers victory.

"The guy came down the wing and took the shot," Thomas said following the Bruins 2-0 loss. "The rebound kind of stuck there. I thought it was going to come off my pad a little harder on that. Sometimes it doesn't.But I believe on my first push to get over there, my foot slipped. I thought my 'D' was going to clear it, so I relaxed but then I realized he missed it and I didn't have time to get back over before Kopecky got a stick on it."

Theodore finished the night making 40 saves in net; Thomas made 28 (the Panthers' second goal from Kris Versteeg was an empty netter). The Bruins gave credit to Theodore after the game and were proud of their goalie as well.

Both goaltenders played well, including ours, even if that goal went in at the end, said Bruins coach Claude Julien. He made the save and we had two guys there who could have cleared the rebound, and we didnt. Im certainly not disappointed with his effort. He did what he had to do.

Kopecky knew he would have to work for a goal against Thomas. Scoring the game-winner against him didnt come easily.

I just wanted to make sure I got everything I had on it because hes a really good goalie, never gives up any rebounds, loose rebounds, Kopecky explained. So I just wanted to get it up and drive the net. We knew hes going to be playing hard. We knew its going to be a tight game, so after the second period we just said we need to stay patient.

Yet as time began to wind down, Thomas saw a heightened sense of urgency among both teams.

I noticed it because they get down toward the end there and they realize that one goal could win the game, he said. So they start pressing. Not necessarily taking more chances, but pressing a little bit harder.

The Bruins will look to come back hard in their next game, and expect another strong showing from their goalie.

"Timmy was good again," said Shawn Thorton. "He always has been, he always is. Thats a given nowadays, I think. I think we expect him to be at his best, and he is."

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.

*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.  

*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.

*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.

*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.

*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.

*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.

*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.


 

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game:

Marchand-Bergeron-Vatrano

Schaller-Krejci-Pastrnak

Spooner-Nash-Backes/Hayes

Blidh/Beleskey-Moore-Czarnik

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Morrow-Liles

 

Rask

McIntyre