WILMINGTON, Mass Tim Thomas clearly was a fan of the Discover Card commercial he shot with Peggy and an obsessed taxi-driving fan. It was the first thing that came to the puck-stoppers mind when an animated Anton Khudobin nearly broke up his media scrum following Tuesdays practice.
Thomas held court for 10 minutes with reporters while waxing philosophic on the importance of Game 7 and learning from failures before ultimately tasting success. That portion provided some compelling quotes such as this one.
Losing in Game 7 allows you to know that you can fail, and youll go on and your life wont be ruined, said a thoughtful Thomas just prior to Khudobins arrival. Until youve had that experience its really tough to handle. It actually gave me an advantage going into the Game 7s last year because of that experience.
Winning quite a few times last year in Game 7s gives you the confidence that you can get it done again.
But the most entertaining moment of the press scrum arrived right afterward when Khudobin rushed in off the ice with the rest of the healthy scratchesBlack Aces and couldnt get through the assembled media to his locker. Good-natured yelling and screaming ensued in a thick Kazakhstan accent, and the 37-year-old couldnt help but take himself into the back of the cab where his personal Peggy moment took place.
He stopped things midstream after hearing Khudobins yell Timmy in a Russian accent followed by something else unintelligible that sounded like a line straight out of the Borat movie.
Do you guys hear Peggy over there? Thats Peggy Junior, said a smiling Thomas to a group of laughs from the assembled media.
While Khudobin is no longer Thomas backup after Tuukka Rask returned to the Bruins lineup for Game 6 in Washington, give credit to the young Kazakhstan goalie for keeping things loose prior to the biggest game of the year.
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.