Thomas continues domination of Flyers


Thomas continues domination of Flyers

PHILADELPHIA Tim Thomas is officially in the heads of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The last time the 37-year-old was at Wells Fargo Center, he made 52 saves in an overtime victory in Game 2 of their playoff series last season. And there was no drop off in his return performance Saturday.
Thomas made 31 stops en route to his 30th career shutout with the Bruins in the 6-0 beating of the Flyers, which improved Thomas' career record against Philadelphia to 11-3-2.
Tims a battler," said coach Claude Julien. "He needed to battle tonight because they had a lot of pucks in the crease area and even though they didnt score at all -- they do a very good job of getting pucks there. He stood in the battle to make the big saves, and he didnt allow them to score to get any life.
The Bruins had suffered some defensive slippage in the last week or -- and allowed the Senators to fire 49 shots against Thomas only a few days prior -- but Thomas enjoyed a little defense renaissance with the return of Zdeno Chara.
"We had a well-rounded game today and we started well, which put the momentum back in our favor," Thomas said. "We were up 4-0 and I knew the game was in our hands. How the rest of the game would go, if we got overconfident or lazy and let them back in the game, that's something we talked about a little bit in between periods.
"Our goal was not to get lazy. We were happy to take that early lead. We didn't plan it, but the important thing is how we reacted to it. We kept playing hard."
The goaltending tandem of Thomas and Tuukka Rask put on a show during the week; the two stopped 119 out of 121 shots over three wins against the Kings, Senators and Flyers. That amounts to a .983 save percentage in the three Boston wins, and is another important facet of a Bs hockey machine that can beat opponents in a multitude of ways.
Thomas was lucky at times against the Flyers, such as when Wayne Simmonds lifted wobbly wrist shot that flicked off the left post and then dropped in front of Thomas in the crease area. He hopped onto the puck for a whistle, but then was quickly pushed over the goal line while sponging up the puck. It was never called a goal on the ice and a review revealed that Thomas was indeed shoved over the goal line.
Daniel Briere and Jakub Voracek conjured up some quality scoring chances while the game was still in the early stages, but it turned into an easier task once the Bruins offense had built up a four-goal bulge in the first period.
Over the last couple of months weve won quite a bit and weve done it in a lot of different ways, obviously, said Thomas. This is one where we can pat ourselves on the back a little bit more than before because we played a complete 60 minutes.

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.

*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.

*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.

*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.

*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.

*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.

*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.

*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.

*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?

*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.