Bruins to start with 'two No. 1' goaltenders

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Bruins to start with 'two No. 1' goaltenders

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard
BOSTON -- There are two No. 1 goaltenders on the Boston Bruins.

Thats what the team said throughout Tuesdays media day, atleast.

If youre a Bruins fan, or even just a hockey fan, you know whatTim Thomas did last season. To keep it simple, he stood on his head. So muchso, that he was the hands-down winner of the Conn Smythe trophy, and picked uphis second-career Vezina Trophy along the way while leading the Bruins to aStanley Cup.

But having started 80 games last season (including theplayoffs), the 37-year-old Thomas is someone to keep an eye on this season, ifyoure the Bruins coaching staff.

I think a lot of it is just like last year, said Julienduring his media day press conference on Tuesday. We start off with two guysthat we call No. 1 goaltenders. And theyre still, in my mind, No. 1caliber goaltenders.

But as you saw last season, Timmy just took off, and wehad to ride the hot hat. The same thing happens this year, youve got twogoaltenders that are, in my eyes, No. 1 goaltenders. Were going to haveto see, as time goes on. The one thing thats pretty obvious, is that with theamount of games that we played last year, and where Tim is in his career,youve got to think about making sure he gets the proper rest, if we want toget the same performance from him."

Will Rask's role be bigger, then?

"We hope so," Julien said. "Butits not going to take anything away from the strength of our team. Ifanything, it will make it better, and give us some durability.

No doubt about it. And the fact that the 24-year-old Raskshould be fairly fresh after starting only 27 games last season, makes Juliensdecision to rest Thomas even easier.

The problem if there is one lies in the fact that Raskisnt just competitive. Hes ready to be a No. 1 goalie.

I didnt play too little last year, said Rask on Tuesday.I mean, I always want to play more.

I want to be a No. 1 goalie at some point, he added.And hopefully I can prove to be worth it.

But right now, Rask understands the situation, even if hewas the guy entering last season, after being Juliens go-to goaltender inthe playoffs two seasons ago. Now, Thomas is the go-to, and he understands itsa good situation to be in.

Its been a funny situation the past couple of years, saidRask. The other plays one year, and the other guy plays the other. But thingshappen, and it just goes differently every year. You dont think about it asyou go on, like, this is going to be my year. We just go game by game, and asthe coach says always, its a fair competition every night, and he tries to putus in the best spot out there.

Thomas was asked about his personal goals for the season, onTuesday. He responded with, You shoot for the same thing. Thats all you cando. That will evolve as the season goes on, to a certain extent.

He later said that around 55 games has been the usualnumber of regular-season games hes projected himself to play, leading up topast seasons.

But with his age, combined with the number of miles he rodelast season and a back-up goalie thats capable of being a No. 1, willthat number decrease this season?

Thomas said it depends on how the season goes.

If the teams on a roll and both goalies are winning, thenobviously you can play both goalies, said Thomas. If one goalies winning andthe other goalie isnt, then the goalie thats winning usually plays more.

You might be able to make like a five-game plan withgoalies . . . but if you go beyond five games, even within that five games, 50percent of the time the plans going to change. So you cant go any longer thanthat.

Any concerns with Thomas health were put to rest by the manhimself on Tuesday, as he said he carried no injuries with him into theoffseason, and carries none into the regular season, which begins on Thursdaynight.

Thomas decision to not tweak any part of his game in theoffseason does more than just suggest that he expects to start where he leftoff in the Stanley Cup Final. The words actually came out of his mouth.

If my games where it was for the playoffs last year, thenIm not going to worry about tweaking little details, he said. Im just goingto go with it.

Even if his game is where it was last year, the decision torest him more often may be something that hell also have to go with.

But Thomas isnt looking that far ahead.

Theres two goalies on a team, and we dont think ofourselves in terms of No. 1 and No. 2, said Thomas. "Thats mediatalk. I guess its traditional talk, but in todays NHL, its different. Were just two goalies, teammates, but of course, both ofus want to play. So thats the way it goes.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Thursday, Jan. 19: Torts doesn't think LeBron could play hockey

Thursday, Jan. 19: Torts doesn't think LeBron could play hockey

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering if the Bruins are ever going to poop, or get off the pot.
 
*John Tortorella wants everybody to know that he thinks there isn’t a chance that Lebron James could play hockey.
 
*In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my radio hit with Toucher and Rich this morning about whether or not Claude Julien should be fired after back-to-back bad losses against the Islanders and Red Wings.
 
*How did Shane Doan arrive at an unhappy place with the Arizona Coyotes where he now is open to moving elsewhere ahead of the trade deadline?
 
*Henrik Lundqvist’s season is entering a crisis level based on what he’s done, and the diminished performance level he’s showing as a more mature goaltender.
 
*A nice piece with a Canadian hockey hero, Hayley Wickenheiser, who recounts some of the legendary moments of her career through a series of pictures.
 
*I totally respect the work that Travis Yost does, but stating the Bruins should stick with Claude Julien because their shooting percentage is bound to turn around isn’t good enough grounds to keep a floundering situation intact, in my opinion. You need to check where the shots are coming from and how many of those shot attempts are completely missing the net to get a better grasp on some of the reasons behind Boston’s dreadful 10-year low shooting percentage. That would also explain some of the reason why Julien needs to be replaced coaching a team that’s largely content on perimeter shots to do it for them while also only sporadically showing the effort required from a middle class talent type of team.

*The Lightning are struggling at Joe Namath levels right now without Steve Stamkos in their lineup, and they need that to change.
 
*For something completely different: congrats to the Boston boys in New Edition for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.