Thomas 'not calling sour grapes' on overtime goal

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Thomas 'not calling sour grapes' on overtime goal

BOSTON -- It was there for the taking. And everybody knew that one little mistake could be the difference-maker.
That mistake came in the form of a failed dump-and-change in overtime of Game 7 on Wednesday night at the TD Garden.The Bruins made the mistake. The Capitals made them pay.
Joel Ward put home a Mike Knuble rebound, three minutes into the sudden-death overtime, giving Washington a 2-1 win in the game and a 4-3 win in the first-round series that was played as closely as a series has ever been played.
Game 7 marked the fourth overtime game of the series, but the 2-1 result marked the seventh game of the series that resulted in a one-goal decision. And it was the first time in NHL history that all seven games have ended in a one-goal difference.
"It was there for us to win," said Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk after the loss. "So tight, even one little mistake and they're going to score, and they did that. But that's what they were trying to do. They were just sitting back, waiting for a mistake and to capitalize, and they did."
Knuble blocked Benoit Pouliot's attempted dump-and-change from the neutral zone, and skated hard up the left wing on an odd-man rush with Ward streaking down the ice with him, to his right.
"It hit me right in the shins," said Knuble. "I knew they were all going for a line change. Ward wasn't going to get the pass. I was going right to the crease with that one. I'm glad he added the finish there at the end."
Knuble drove the puck hard to the net, with Thomas making the initial save. But Ward swooped in and put home the rebound with traffic in front, ending the Bruins' season.
"I knew he was going to take the puck to the net," said Ward. "I wasn't really looking for a pass across, and I was just trying to follow it up, just in case there was a puck that squirted loose or a rebound. I just kind of saw it and then gave it one of the hardest whacks I've ever given a puck."
Ward's "whack" ended up in the back of the net. From Tim Thomas' perspective, Knuble's body was preventing him from seeing the rebound at all.
"You see Knuble coming down with the puck and coming to the net hard," said the Bruins goaltender. "He had himself in a position, he's a big strong guy, where it looked like to me where he could cut across the net, or he could go both ways. So I had to play him straight up, and when he got closer to me, it got stuck on his backhand, so I was just trying to play him honest and wait for him to take the shot. I didn't want to go down until after he released the puck because I didn't want him to be able to go up and over my pad. And then he threw it at the net, backhand, and his momentum continued into me.
"I'm not calling sour grapes, but it's reality, and it pushed me out of the way, just enough to open up the net for Ward to put it in," added Thomas. "I didn't even see Ward put it in. I knew the rebound was going that way, but my head was probably in about his stomach."
Sour grapes or not, Ward's overtime goal put the finishing touches on a series that was played as closely as a series has ever been played.
"No doubt, it made it an interesting series," said Bruins coach Claude Julien on all of the one-goal games. "I don't know why people would even think that it would have been one-sided, when you look at their team. I mentioned it numerous times, I don't believe they're a seventh-place team. There's too much talent on that team, to be that. They righted the ship at the right time, and they're playing some great hockey right now.
"And that's what it seems to be all about in the playoffs nowadays," added Julien. "When you look at the teams that have been knocked out, it's whoever's playing their best hockey at the right time."

What we learned: Bruins 2, Sharks 1

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What we learned: Bruins 2, Sharks 1

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Morning Skate: Asking price on Shattenkirk should scare off Bruins

Morning Skate: Asking price on Shattenkirk should scare off Bruins

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after watching the Boston Celtics take a hard pass on the Boogie. 
 
-- Bob McKenzie sits in with the good folks at TSN 1200 Ottawa sports radio and talks a little Claude Julien of the Montreal Canadiens

-- The Avalanche youth movement is set to begin as quickly as March 1, as Colorado may move some of its veteran players at the trade deadline. 
 
-- Ryan Johansen got snubbed in his return to Columbus for the first time as a member of the Nashville Predators. That’s too bad, but it’s also not exactly Wayne Gretzky returning to the Edmonton Oilers for the first time. 
 
-- The price tag for Kevin Shattenkirk is in and it includes a top prospect and a first-round pick, along with another piece, for a rental defenseman. That should be far too rich for the Bruins’ blood. The B's were already intent on avoiding the rental market ahead of the trade deadline, and the steep price -- even for a potentially useful short-term acquisition like the puck-moving Shattenkirk -- should make that even more of a certainty. 
 
-- Ken Campbell asks whether hockey agents have gone too far in chasing after prospective prospects before they even enter their teenage years. 

 -- Bobby Ryan has a hand injury that’s going to sideline him, another piece of bad luck for the Senators forward. 
 
-- For something completely different: On President’s Day, it seems only natural to go through the favorite Presidents in the history of the Marvel Universe.