BOSTON -- It wouldn’t be a Tim Thomas experience in Boston without an explosion of violence in his crease, but it doesn’t look like the 39-year-old goalie will be called to the carpet by the NHL Department of Player Safety for his actions.
A league source indicated to CSNNE.com that no hearing has been scheduled between the Panthers goaltender and the league for the infraction, and that’s a good call.
Thomas was called for a high-sticking minor penalty after clubbing Carl Soderberg in the side of his head with four seconds remaining in Boston’s 6-2 win over the Panthers at TD Garden.
There was no injury to Soderberg after absorbing the blow.
“We can’t stop play because there is 30 seconds left, we have to try to score the whole game, I don’t know,” said Soderberg. “I had never seen that before. He hit me in the side of the head. I’m fine.”
The whole sequence began with the Big Swede crashing into Thomas in the crease with his stick high in the final seconds of a blowout win for Boston, the second time the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder had buzzed the tower with Thomas.
So the goalie finally used his stick to protect himself in the kind of feisty move that was celebrated around Boston three years earlier when he did against one of the Sedins while still wearing the Black and Gold sweater.
“Nobody was really running into me until the end there. [Carl] Soderberg, the play before that he did quite a hard jab and then all of the sudden the puck is up in the air, you’re catching it, and his stick is in my throat,” said Thomas. “With less than a minute left in a game and they’re up by four goals, 6-2, I took exception to that.”
With no injury, a high-sticking penalty already served and both players guilty of bringing their sticks up high in the closing minutes of a blowout game, this is exactly the kind of play from which Brendan Shanahan and Co. should simply moving on.