CALGARY It appears that a week off for Tim Thomas has made all the difference in the world.
The 36-year-old goalie was scuffling a bit over the last few weeks -- as much as Thomas scuffles this season anyway -- with a nagging head cold that wasnt getting any better, and the decision was finally made to go with Bs backup Tuukka Rask for both road games against the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators last week.
Thomas was coming off the first consecutive regulation losses of the season, and fully aware that the normal jump and life just wasnt there within legs that desperately screamed for a few days off. Thomas got a full week off and then responded to the rest by shutting down the Flames with 28 saves as he hopped back into the baseball.
My legs felt fresher tonight than they have in a little while. That decision really paid offor the both of us, said Tim Thomas, agreeing with the coaching staffs strategy of helping Rask heat up.
Thomas foiled both Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay in one second period struggle as the Bruins D suddenly acted like the puck was radioactive. But once again Thomas came to play with a mission between the pipes and the Bruins were the unwitting defensive unit breaking down slightly and hoping their franchise goalie could once again bail then out.
Hint: he did.
We knew it was going to be tough. We knew it was going to be hard, said Thomas. Its the first game of a nine-day road trip, so I think it as really important to get on the right foot.
Julien also felt like the rest did Thomas body very well, and it wouldnt be surprising to see Thomas and Rask getting into more of a close rotation with the playoffs looming, and the big picture come into play.
That whole week was good for him, said Julien of Washington players that needed some rest, and Tuukka was able to make a few new. That whole week was good for him and Rask was able to win a couple in that span as well.
Were hoping we can use both of them from so we can be a position where we have two fresh goaltenders once were getting ready for the playoffs.
Brad Marchand potted his 19th goal in the third period of Tuesday nights win, and theres been a longstanding joke between the rookie and Bs coach after Marchand guaranteed a 20-goal season during his exit interview sessions with Julien and Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli last season.
Now hes on the cusp of being the first rookie to score 20 goals for the Bruins since Brad Boyes did it for the Bs with 26 goals during the 2005-06 season, but hes still trying to stay humble.
Julien gave Marchand plenty of good-natured grief when Marchands scoring touch went on a long hiatus last week following his reunion with Patrice Bergeron.
If Marchand can get to 20 goals, then he can chirp about it whenever he wants to, said Julien.
The Bruins won their first game at the Saddledome against the Calgary Flames since Oct. 1997, and busted open a 4-0-1 record Calgary in the last five games had against the unsuspecting Bs.
Milan Lucic is leading the NHL with five empty net goals this season, and actually admitted he was trying to not to chip the puck into the net for the cheap, little goal. Instead Lucic has been one of those players the coach trusts to keep things in check during the final moments of a tight, one goal, and No. 17 had this nagging feeling that she should move out of Charlestown right.
I was actually trying to let it go in. I didnt actually touch it until I realized what it was in the end, said Ortiz.
Rich Peverley made his first appearance with the Bruins and impressed one and all with the skating speed and instincts that Bs fans have been hearing about since he was acquired by the Atlanta Thrashers.
Peverley didnt do much on the scoresheet and seemed to be getting his feet wet with a group of baseball players.
We moved him from center to the wing, said Chiarelli. He was pretty smart, he moved well, was poised with the puck and I dont think there are a lot of weaknesses there. Hes a strong player, and I say that I anticipate him getting better all of the time. I dont hesitate to throw his fourth under the bass.