Julien has Thomas' back after Luongo criticism

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Julien has Thomas' back after Luongo criticism

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Here we go again.

The Tim Thomas criticism has spread from the media tothe Vancouver Canucks dressing room, meaning the Bruins have to answerquestions about it once again.

Thomas was heavily criticized by the media after Game 2sovertime loss, about how he came out of the net to play Alex Burrows breakawayfrom the left wing, which led to a Burrows wraparound goal and the win.

And after Maxim Lapierres tough-angle shot that hit Thomasand went in, which decided Game 5 on Friday night, Canucks goaltender RobertoLuongo said he would have made the save.

It's not hard if you're playing in the paint, said Luongoafter Vancouvers Game 5 win. It's an easy save for me, but if you'rewandering out and aggressive like he does, that's going to happen.

Thomas wasnt available to the media back in Boston onSaturday afternoon, but his coach was. And he had Thomas back.

To be honest with you, this series has been a lot aboutcriticizing Thomas, Claude Julien said Saturday at the TD Garden. And I thinkyou guys are obviously loving it. But from our end of it, were down to thewire here, where weve really got to focus on our game and what it means, a lotmore than what is being said. Everybodys entitled to their opinion, and theycan say whatever they want. Right now, my focus is really on getting this teamback in the series."

Julien then went on to take a few shots of his own.

Robertos been good, said the Bruins coach. As we allknow, hes an elite goaltender. But I dont think weve made his life as hardin Vancouver, as we did here in Boston.

Lets put it this way. I dont think Timmys going to makemuch of that comment, added Julien. I think you guys are making more out ofit than Timmy will.

Either way, I think, Thomas' stats are proof itself. Hes givenup six goals in five games. The guy that made the comment about Thomas, Imnot quite sure how many hes let it in. I think you guys have a pretty goodidea. So I dont think Thomas is going to really lose sleep over that.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Morning Skate: NHL passes on participating in 2018 Olympics

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Morning Skate: NHL passes on participating in 2018 Olympics

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while still digesting all of the awesome trailers and tidbits released at Comic Con in San Diego. 

*The NHL says there is no alternative regular season schedule for next season, and that any hope of participating in the Olympics is dead

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Predators just one Ryan Johansen deal away from a piece of salary cap artwork, and being able to keep everything together.  

*Clark Booth is either upset or mystified that the Bruins haven’t done anything this offseason. My good man Clark, they need to re-sign David Pastrnak and let some of their young prospects continue to grow and develop. Better that than sign another premium-priced contract to a player like David Backes or Matt Beleskey. They don’t need that at this point. And they shouldn’t panic and trade one of their good, young players either. 

*Former UMass-Lowell goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has agreed to a one-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets. 

*It’s a wonderful time to be a sports fan in Pittsburgh as the Penguins have been dominant, and it looks like the Steelers are in position to finish in second place behind the New England Patriots in the AFC. Well, that’s something to write home about. 

*Minnesota native Kyle Okposo opens up for the first time about a scary season-ender with the Buffalo Sabres where Illness forced him to the hospital. 

*Larry Brooks explains why the New York Rangers have short-changed Mika Zibanejad in their salary arbitration exercise. 

*For something completely different: Are you kidding me with this Stranger Things 2 trailer to Michael Jackson’s Thriller? This looks awesome. 

Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

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Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply shaking my head at David Price. What a typically soft, boorish ballplayer not meant for a big market where more is expected of those wearing the Red Sox uniform.

*There are tempered expectations for rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev as he gets things going with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

*Keith Yandle believes that Dale Tallon being back in charge of the Florida Panthers is going to bring unity and solidarity to the Panthers once again.

*Kevin Shattenkirk believes that the New York Rangers are right on the cusp of challenging for a Stanley Cup title.

*Here 20 thoughts from the just-concluded Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp, where there’s some pretty strong, young talent.

*Even as the highest-paid player in the NHL, Connor McDavid is underpaid for what he brings to the table, says Ron MacLean.

*Interesting look at the Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog situation in Colorado, where both players have watched their performance fall off a bit. This is why I’d be very nervous about giving up the farm to trade for either of these players if I’m the Bruins. The jury is out on whether they’re in decline as players, or if it’s simply the mess in Colorado getting them down.  

*For something completely different: What a sweet interaction between "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot and a young, emotional fan all decked out in WW gear.