Notes: Thomas on his game after rest

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Notes: Thomas on his game after rest

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

CALGARY It appears that a week off for Tim Thomas has made all the difference in the world.

The 36-year-old goalie was scuffling a bit over the last few weeks -- as much as Thomas scuffles this season anyway -- with a nagging head cold that wasnt getting any better, and the decision was finally made to go with Bs backup Tuukka Rask for both road games against the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators last week.

Thomas was coming off the first consecutive regulation losses of the season, and fully aware that the normal jump and life just wasnt there within legs that desperately screamed for a few days off. Thomas got a full week off and then responded to the rest by shutting down the Flames with 28 saves as he hopped back into the baseball.

My legs felt fresher tonight than they have in a little while. That decision really paid offor the both of us, said Tim Thomas, agreeing with the coaching staffs strategy of helping Rask heat up.

Thomas foiled both Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay in one second period struggle as the Bruins D suddenly acted like the puck was radioactive. But once again Thomas came to play with a mission between the pipes and the Bruins were the unwitting defensive unit breaking down slightly and hoping their franchise goalie could once again bail then out.

Hint: he did.

We knew it was going to be tough. We knew it was going to be hard, said Thomas. Its the first game of a nine-day road trip, so I think it as really important to get on the right foot.

Julien also felt like the rest did Thomas body very well, and it wouldnt be surprising to see Thomas and Rask getting into more of a close rotation with the playoffs looming, and the big picture come into play.

That whole week was good for him, said Julien of Washington players that needed some rest, and Tuukka was able to make a few new. That whole week was good for him and Rask was able to win a couple in that span as well.

Were hoping we can use both of them from so we can be a position where we have two fresh goaltenders once were getting ready for the playoffs.

Brad Marchand potted his 19th goal in the third period of Tuesday nights win, and theres been a longstanding joke between the rookie and Bs coach after Marchand guaranteed a 20-goal season during his exit interview sessions with Julien and Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli last season.

Now hes on the cusp of being the first rookie to score 20 goals for the Bruins since Brad Boyes did it for the Bs with 26 goals during the 2005-06 season, but hes still trying to stay humble.

Julien gave Marchand plenty of good-natured grief when Marchands scoring touch went on a long hiatus last week following his reunion with Patrice Bergeron.

If Marchand can get to 20 goals, then he can chirp about it whenever he wants to, said Julien.

The Bruins won their first game at the Saddledome against the Calgary Flames since Oct. 1997, and busted open a 4-0-1 record Calgary in the last five games had against the unsuspecting Bs.

Milan Lucic is leading the NHL with five empty net goals this season, and actually admitted he was trying to not to chip the puck into the net for the cheap, little goal. Instead Lucic has been one of those players the coach trusts to keep things in check during the final moments of a tight, one goal, and No. 17 had this nagging feeling that she should move out of Charlestown right.

I was actually trying to let it go in. I didnt actually touch it until I realized what it was in the end, said Ortiz.

Rich Peverley made his first appearance with the Bruins and impressed one and all with the skating speed and instincts that Bs fans have been hearing about since he was acquired by the Atlanta Thrashers.

Peverley didnt do much on the scoresheet and seemed to be getting his feet wet with a group of baseball players.

We moved him from center to the wing, said Chiarelli. He was pretty smart, he moved well, was poised with the puck and I dont think there are a lot of weaknesses there. Hes a strong player, and I say that I anticipate him getting better all of the time. I dont hesitate to throw his fourth under the bass.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

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Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want. 

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

It was the longest run that the P-Bruins have had in a few years and another unmistakable sign that the future is brightening for the Black and Gold, but the Bruins AHL affiliate has ended their playoff push in the Calder Cup semi-finals. 

The Providence Bruins fell by a 3-1 score to the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night to lose to the Crunch in five games when the best-of-seven series was set to return to Providence this coming week. The P-Bruins had vanquished the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears in the first two rounds of the Calder Cup playoffs before finally exiting against Syracuse. 

Though it’s over, it’s clear some of the Bruins prospects made a nice step forward over the second half of the AHL season and then into the Calder Cup playoffs. With the Calder Cup Finals yet to start, B’s forward prospect Danton Heinen stands as the second-leading playoff scorer in the entire AHL with nine goals and 18 points in 17 playoff games after really struggling in the first half of his first pro season while bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the AHL. 

This could bode well for the skilled Heinen and his hopes to make the leap to the NHL in the near future after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Denver. AHL journeymen-types Wayne Simpson and Jordan Szwarz were the next two top scorers for the P-Bruins in the playoff run, but Jake DeBrusk had a strong playoff season as well while popping in six goals in 17 games. DeBrusk led all Providence players with his 54 shots on net in the 17-game playoff run for Providence, and he headlined a group that included B’s prospects Ryan Fitzgerald, Zach Senyshyn, Matt Grzelcyk, Peter Cehlarik (who succumbed to shoulder surgery during the playoffs), Emil Johansson and Robbie O’Gara all getting some vital playoff experience. 

Both Heinen and DeBrusk will be strong candidates for jobs on the wing with the Boston big club when training camp opens in the fall after strong showings in the postseason. 

On the goaltending side, Zane McIntyre was solid for the P-Bruins at times while in 16 of their 17 playoff games with a .906 save percentage. But it was Malcolm Subban that was playing at the very end of the playoff run for Providence and featured a sterling .937 save percentage in the four AHL playoff games that he appeared in this spring after an up-and-down regular season. McIntyre had an .857 save percentage and 4.37 goals against average in the final series against Syracuse, and looked a little spent like many of the other P-Bruins players once they’d unexpectedly made it to the third round of the AHL postseason.  

The only unfortunate part of Providence’s run is that newly signed youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson couldn’t be a part of it after signing and then appearing in NHL games following a cut-off date for AHL playoff rosters. Both missed on an experience that could have been very conducive for their professional development, and uncovered a wrinkle in the NHL/AHL transaction process that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a developmental league.