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.

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

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McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.