BOSTON -- Tim Thomas is a traditional sort who subscribes to many of the normal routines and superstitions for which goaltenders are infamous.
But that didnt extend to the goalie mask or Mage as he likes to call it in a mixture of mask and cage he debuted in Toronto on Saturday night recognizing the month of Movember and the effort to raise money and awareness for cancer research.
Movember has been centered on prostate cancer research, and any type of cancer research hits close to home for Thomas after both his parents have waged battles against the dreaded disease over the last few years.
It was appropriate Thomas first night donning the mask was his 27th career NHL shutout with the Bruins, and a win that put him over the .500 mark at 5-4 on the season.
Toronto was a good place to debut it on Hockey Night in Canada, said Thomas. Hopefully it was a big audience and hopefully we can do something good with this month. I dont want to get myself in trouble with women, but mens cancer seems to be overlooked sometimes. Both of my parents have had bouts with cancer over the last few years my mom with breast cancer and my dad with colon cancer but this Movember has become popular.
We were just trying to do something to help the cause.
The Moustache Mask will be raffled off at the end of November to raise money for the Tim Thomas Foundation that Thomas started at the beginning of this season and would be a collectors item for any diehard Bruins fan. The mask features the slogan Grow your Mo on each side, along with the image of Lord Horatio Kitchener made famous as a recruiting poster in England during World War I and Kitchener is wearing a Bruins hat in the image.
Best of all: in place of the normal Beware the Bear on the back of Thomas mask, it says Beware of the Stache on the back plate. Thomas will wear the mask for the entire month of November along with a handlebar moustache grown especially for the month, and hopes that his efforts can do their part for the increasingly popular Movember movement around the NHL.
For those interested in the Moustache Mask raffle or just hoping to take a look at the mask, you can check it out at www.timthomashockey.com.
BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It was a bitter pill for Adam McQuaid to sit out the first five games of this season, but it looks like the veteran Bruins stay-at-home defenseman is nearing a return to the lineup. McQuaid was cleared to potentially play in Saturday’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens after an upper body injury kept him shelved for the team’s first four games, and could be approaching a return in the next few days as Claude Julien mulls a number of possible lineup changes.
“It was obviously frustrating, but I’m where I’m at now and trying to move on from it. Looking forward to getting back into the lineup hopefully as soon as possible here,” said the 30-year-old McQuaid, who had a goal and nine points in 64 games for the Black and Gold last season. “The excitement level is high for me, and it is for everybody after a loss when you’re looking forward to getting back out there.
“It would have been nice to have started the season with the guys, but you can’t change that now. I’ve had some good practices, and I’m just trying to my game as simple as possible, and take it as it comes. Obviously guys have played some games and it’s been a couple of weeks for me, so I’ll just have to keep my game simple.”
The B’s bench boss indicated it was only a matter of time before McQuaid makes his 2016-17 regular season debut, but that he’s got plenty of things to decide prior to dropping the puck against the Wild.
“[McQuaid] was cleared last game. I haven’t made any decisions based for [Tuesday night vs. Minnesota]. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air, and I’ve just go to juggle those things,” said Julien. “Who knows? Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ve got a better picture [of injury situation], and if not then it will be game-time decisions. I wish I could have a better answer [on if McQuaid will play], but I’ve got no answers right now.”
With Colin Miller (minus-4), Joe Morrow, Torey Krug (a rough minus-3 against Montreal) and John-Michael Liles all minus players after the first five games of the season, there are ample options for Julien on which potential blueliner to bump up to the press box. McQuaid is just happy he’s getting closer to a return while skating with 23-year-old Rob O’Gara at practice, and he can get back to helping a B’s team that’s smack dab in the middle (ranked 15th allowing 3.0 goals per game) of the NHL for team defense this season.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving The Walking Dead credit for delivering a pile driver to me as a TV viewer last night. I did not see all of that coming.
*Plenty of questions and answers about the Calgary Flames as they’ve looked a little shaky in the early going this season.
*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has the Edmonton Oilers straightening things out after the brutal loss to Buffalo.
*NHL captains like Steve Stamkos carry the heavy weight of tradition on their shoulders as they go about their business.
*The Hockey News wonders if Patrice Bergeron is the best defensive forward to ever play in the NHL. I’m certain he’s in the conversation, but that’s a big, bold statement that deserves some heavy consideration. After all, he never had to defend Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Mike Bossy, Gordie Howe or any other number of offensive stars. I certainly think he should be in the select club he would join if/when he wins his fourth Selke Trophy.
*Minnesota D-man Matt Dumba was nearly scratched by the Minnesota Wild, and he says that he’s never going to let that happen again.
*The Anaheim Ducks placed Simon Despres on long term injured reserve as they try to stay afloat salary cap-wise, and avoid dealing off a player in-season.
*For something completely different: The Boston Celtics break ground on a new practice facility adjacent to the new Bruins place.