Thomas postgame reaction raises questions

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Thomas postgame reaction raises questions

BOSTON -- Tim Thomas noticeably used the pronoun "they" -- not "we" -- when discussing his Bruins teammates at multiple points after Bostons Game 7 loss to the Washington Capitals.

The 38-year-old goaltender, who is clearly intent on being viewed as an individual first and foremost, was good but not spectacular in his teams 2-1 loss to the Capitals. A tipped puck beat him for the first goal, then Mike Knuble barreled over him in overtime before Joel Ward scored the dagger.

Thomas now enters an offseason filled with the unknown.

He's entering the final year of his contract, and his no-trade clause expires this offseason. Plus, the Bruins will likely have 25-year-old Tuukka Rask (a restricted free agent) waiting in the wings.

Thomas showed some signs last night that he may be anticipating a trade.

Some observers said they spotted him stepping on the Bruins logo in the middle of the home dressing room -- a definite no-no -- after the game was over.

Then there were the references to therest of the Bruins team as they at least five times during his postgame interview. If one were a conspiracy theoristitsounds like there is a clear separation of State and Tim Thomas going on.

"What it says about our guys is that theyre battlers and theyre still champions," he said. "They gave everything they had to the bitter end. Unfortunately this is sports and they fell short this time."

The remarks were consistent with Thomas' tendency to paint himself as an individual.

He made waves when he skipped the team's visit to the White House earlier this season, a statement that many within the Bs organization felt created an unneeded distraction. His subsequent posts to his Facebook page only exacerbated the issue.

After that, many speculated that Thomas and the Bruins would part ways when the season was over. And perhaps Thomas wants to go. Perhaps he's had enough of the Bruins after they didn't back him staunchly enough following the White House imbroglio.

But before he can be dealt, the team must answer a few questions.

Is a combination of Rask and Anton Khudobin ready to take over as the goaltending tandem? And what might the Bruins get in return?

It would have been difficult for the Bruins to trade Thomas if he had put together another magical postseason this year, but that didn't happen. The Capitals made sure of it. His .923 save percentage only ranked 11th among playoff goaltenders.

The Capitals stuck to their game plan. They made it very difficult for us to generate any offense or any momentum with the style that they played, said Thomas.

Then Thomas launched into his "they" not "we" comments.

Was it a verbal slip? Or was it the first sign that the goaltender and his team are headed for a permanent breakup this summer?

Stay turned to Thomas Facebook page, which should be lighting up with context clues any day now.

Morning Skate: Larry Robinson parts ways with Sharks

Morning Skate: Larry Robinson parts ways with Sharks


Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while refraining from shoving any world leaders today.

*Larry Robinson and the San Jose Sharks are parting after working together for five seasons, per FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz.

*Speaking of Kurz, he also has a Sharks mailbag on which players are most likely to be traded out of San Jose during the offseason. Somebody has got to go, and you’d think it would be somebody without much tread left on the tires.

*Moving on to other topics, Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler said that losing a Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals to the Nashville Predators was the “toughest” loss of his career. I don’t see how this is possible. You see, Kesler is no slouch at falling short. In fact, he’s a tremendous loser, having dropped a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at home in 2011 as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, and also having lost a Gold Medal Game for Team USA at the hands of Sidney Crosby and Canada in 2010 in overtime that was also played in Vancouver. It took a simple Google search to find an actual postgame video of Kesler crying into his hockey glove on the bench in the aftermath of Game 7 vs. the Bruins. So, pardon me if I’m not buying Kesler talking about a conference finals loss as the worst of his career when he was one home win away from being a Stanley Cup champion in Game 7, and proceeded to lose like he’s done many, many times in the most important games of his career. Dude, you’ve been through tougher losses. Trust me on that one.  

*The idea of trading Alex Ovechkin might be gaining some traction with the Capitals fan base, but it doesn’t seem to be based on reality at this point.

*The pride of Melrose, Mass, Conor Sheary, delivered in Game 7 for the Penguins as they return to the Stanley Cup Final in back-to-back seasons.

*Bobby Ryan said his strategy for success in the playoffs, at least in part, was staying off the phone. Maybe he ought to try that a bit more during the regular season.

*Congrats to the folks at NBC for another successful Red Nose Day that featured a reunion of the “Love Actually” cast among other things.