Notes: Thomas can't beat Quick

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Notes: Thomas can't beat Quick

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

LOS ANGELES Tim Thomas might not have known that Jonathan Quick was born and bred as a New Englander when asked about his goaltending counterpart after Monday nights 2-0 loss to the Kings at the Staples Center.Its pretty clear that the Connecticut resident and former UMass standout gets all kinds of jacked up to play the Bruins team he grew up watching while living in a neighboring state, and Quick improved to 5-0 in his career against the Black and Gold after a 34 save shutout Monday.Thomas was pretty good in his own right while making 32 saves for the Bruins including a couple of beauties against Michael Handzus and Jarret Stoll but hasnt managed to beat the Kings in any of his last five appearances against Quick backed by hockey royalty."If we scored, that could have been a momentum changer and probably the whole game is different, said Tim Thomas. "He Quick always seems to play a good game against me. I don't know if he gets his rivalry juices up, but having said that they scored both their goals on the doorstep.Thomas then went to articulate how little a price was being paid by the forwards crashing the net and the defensemen pinching down in a shutout defeat that featured no sustained offense from the Bruins. Thomas saw the fortunate bounces all the way from the opposite side of the ice, but there were no crashing, hustling teammates ready to take advantage of them.I can't remember a doorstep chance that we got off a rebound or a puck laying there. The chances were there, but we weren't there." Shawn Thornton recognized the dull edge to his team early in the game, and picked a fight with Kings winger Kyle Clifford that turned into an extended bout between the two combatants. Both players traded some pretty good blows before skating to their respective dressing rooms.Unfortunately Blake Wheeler waswhistled ona questionableholding the stick penalty minutes later that wiped out any possible momentum gain from Thorntons fisticuffs. Monday night was Bostons first shutout loss since a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks on Dec. 20. By the end of Mondays loss the fourth line and Patrice Bergerons line were kept intact, and things had been shuffled so that Blake Wheeler, Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton were skating together and Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Michael Ryder were paired together on a top scoring line.Its understandable that it would take a game or two for each of the forward combinations to gel together in the absence of Marc Savard, but anybody watching the game could see it was about paying the price. In Bostons case it was about being unwilling to pay the price for goals and offense after spending four days on the West Coast.I dont think there was much offense from any line, said Julien. There was just nothing. You couldnt get anything out of any of the lines offensively. The Bruins were 0-for-3 on the power play with little flow or movement in a Marc Savard-less world, and only managed six shots on net in those man advantage chances. This will be the most difficult adjustment without No. 91 around to help distribute the puck on Bostons special teams opportunities.One had to wonder if part of Mondays lifeless vibe had to do with the team learning of Savard's diagnosis in the hours leading up to puck drop, but one Bruins player assured that had nothing to do with what happened on the ice. It appears the LA Kings adopted a game plan that may become more prevalent with Steve Kampfer as time goes on: Hit Kampfer hard and hit him often. Every chance the Kings had, that's what they did to the slick defenseman. Dustin Brown blasted him up high with a shoulder to the head area in the corner that shook Kampfer up during the second period, and slowed him down a bit in a few shifts following that. The more success Kampfer has, the more hes going to be met with that punishing physicality and need to succeed in spite of that. The NHL announced today that goaltender Tim Thomas has been named the First Star of the Week, for the week ending January 22. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos and New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur are the second and third stars, respectively.Thomas won all three of his starts last week for the Bruins, going 3-0-0 with one shutout and allowed just four goals on 106 shots (.962 save percentage). He made 31 saves in the clubs 7-0 win over the Hurricanes on Monday, January 17 and followed that up with a 43-save performance during Bostons 3-2 win over Carolina on Tuesday. Thomas finished his week with a 32-save effort in Colorado on Saturday.For the season, Thomas currently leads all NHL goaltenders in goals against average, save percentage and is tied for the league lead in shutouts with seven. This is his third separate Star honor of the season, as he was named the First Star of the Week (October 31) and Second Star of the Month (October) earlier this year.The Boston Bruins Foundation will donate 1,000 in Thomas name to the childrens charity of his choice the second time this season that Thomas has been the First Star and earned a donation to his charity of choice.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

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.