Club record for straight wins a distant goal for Thomas

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Club record for straight wins a distant goal for Thomas

There are two truths about Tim Thomas.

The 37-year-old goaltender is a great aficionado of hockey history, and is always looking for motivation any place he can find it.

And Thomas -- who got a nice little honor Thursday morning when he was named the NHLs No. 1 Star for the month of November with a 9-0-0 record with a .941 save percentage -- may be able to put the two of them together for his next accomplishment of note.When asked about Bostons 12-0-1 record in the month of November, Thomas mentioned Gerry Cheevers' remarkable record of 32 games without a loss, set during the Bruins' Stanley Cup-championship season of 1971-72. There are marks of greatness for goaltending, andCheever's streak of going 24-0-8 without a regulation loss is unquestionably one of them.

Its an NHL record that still stands, and while Thomas admits his nine-game unbeaten streak is a long, long way from the record books, it's something he's aware of. And once the B's goaltender is made aware of something he can shoot for, he sets it in his sights and usually accomplishes it.The team clearly has something to do with it as well, and both the Bruins and Thomas don't show many signs of slowing down.

Its so far away that I cant even look that far ahead, said Thomas. The reason weve had success this month is because weve refused to look past any other teams on the schedule. I would expect that to continue moving forward.

Thomas' nine-game winning streak is a career high, but it's still little more than a quarter of the way to Cheevers' mark. Still, it would be pretty cool if the Bs goaltender could catch up to the record set by his puck-stopping ancestor in Black and Gold, and perhaps give the Bruins the mother of all win streaks after last years mastery in nearly all goaltender categories.If anybody is capable of it look no further than the second goalie in NHL history to earn the Vezina Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy and Stanley Cup in the same season.

Cheevers consecutive wins streak would be something amazing to shoot for, but Im not even halfway there, said Thomas. It wasnt even on my radar.Well, after talking about it something usually ends up somewhere on Thomas' radar. That's not necessarily a bad thing when you're the best goaltender in the world and actually capable of reaching those kinds of heights.

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right. 
 

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like we’ll be getting a Pittsburgh/Nashville Stanley Cup Final, which I suppose would be the best possible outcome at this point.

*You hear the name and it just gets you angry all over again if you grew up watching the Bruins. Ulf Samuelsson is in the running for an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a report.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston says it appears that the time is running out on a Cinderella season for the Ottawa Senators.

*A taste of winning at the world championships with Team Sweden could fuel Alex Edler’s desire for a change from the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.

*Interesting piece on a former can’t miss goaltending prospect with the Nashville Predators that ended up totally missing, and what he’s been up to in life since then.

*Guy Boucher explains to Pro Hockey Talk why he kept changing goaltenders in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Don Cherry explains that he hates afternoon hockey during his Coach’s Corner from Hockey Night in Canada in the Game 5 blowout between the Penguins and Predators.

*A good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Alex Prewitt on the Nashville Predators, and the evolution of the franchise into a team on the verge of a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

*For something completely different: What a win by the Boston Celtics in Game 3 in Cleveland, and quite an interesting, fired up interview with Al Horford afterward.