By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- It looks like Tim Thomas is going to take his time with bold predictions and grand pronouncements.
The 37-year-old goalie had some fun with the season ticket holders during the State of the Bruins last week by stridently dedicating this season to repeating as winner of the Stanley Cup, Vezina Trophy and Conn Smyth Trophy for a second consecutive year.
"I won the Cup, the Conn Smythe and the Vezina, said Thomas. The conclusion I came to this summer is that I have no choice but to shoot for it again this year.
The confident Thomas played to the crowd with his certainty and brought down the house with fan applause and hollers once he finished up his sentence.
That version of Thomas had left the building on Saturday morning for the first day of camp. Instead, the Bs goaltender was more worried about tweaking his equipment than winning a triple crown of NHL goaltending awards during the month of September.
I talked about season goals before, but I dont think the first day of camp is the right time to talk about what you think is going to happen this year, said Thomas, who set the modern NHL record with a .938 save percentage last season. Id rather focus on the immediate that its the first day of camp and a small step forward. I just want to focus on getting better every day -- and the smaller picture -- rather than to get into that kind of stuff right now.
Thomas didnt need to be reminded about the whopping number of regular season and playoff games (82) he skated in last season. Thomas knows that many are expecting a physical letdown after his heavy workload last year, but the Bs goaltender said any offseason recovery was much more mentalemotional in nature rather than physical.
Hes not coming off hip surgery and Thomas was able to work out this summer as he always had in the past.
But Thomas has also never been quite as comfortable with his hockey station in life as he is right now after winning every award imaginable in one of the best NHL goaltending seasons in the modern era of hockey.
I actually feel good. Last year I was coming off that hip surgery and I wasnt even allowed to be on the ice until the first day of camp. If anything Im in better all-around condition than last year. At this point I dont feel the 82 games from last season anyway, said Thomas, who knew the exact number of games played off the top of his head. Physically I dont feel too bad. Mentally and emotionally you give so much energy that those are the harder parts to deal with.
Youre in battle mode for two months straight because thats what the playoffs are. Plus the whole season youre kind of in that mode, but it gets stepped up in the playoffs. To have it suddenly be over that was harder than the physical things for me anyway.
The only remaining vestige from Thomas playoff performance from last season: the handlebar mustache still on the Bs goaltenders face.
But even Thomas championship facial hair has no guarantee of making it to the regular season this year.
That would be part of the Bruins 'big picture' that Thomas isnt touching at this point in training camp.