Notes: Thomas on his game after rest

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Notes: Thomas on his game after rest

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

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.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Khudobin simply ‘has got to be better’ for Bruins

Khudobin simply ‘has got to be better’ for Bruins

BOSTON – There wasn’t much for Anton Khudobin to say after it was all over on Thursday night. 

The B’s backup netminder allowed four goals on 22 shots while looking like he was fighting the puck all night. It was one of the big reasons behind a tired-looking 4-2 loss to the lowly Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

The loss dropped Khudobin to 1-4-0 on the season and puts him at a 3.02 goals-against average and .888 save percentage this season. Three of the four goals beat Khudobin despite him getting a pretty good look at them. The ultimate game-winner in the second period from John Mitchell just beat him cleanly on the short side. 

Matt Duchene beat Khudobin from the slot on a play that was a bad defense/bad goaltending combo platter to start the game and MacKinnon ripped a shorthanded bid past the Bruins netminder to put Boston in a hole against a woeful Colorado team. 

Afterward, Khudobin didn’t have much to say, with just one good performance among five games played for the Black and Gold this season. 

“Four goals is too much. That’s it,” said a to-the-point Khudobin, who was then asked how he felt headed into the game. “I don’t know; too much energy…yeah, too much. I don’t know. I just had a lot of energy and I think it just didn’t work out my way.”

Khudobin didn’t really expand on why he had too much energy, but perhaps it’s because the compacted schedule has really curtailed the team’s ability to hold team practices on a regular basis. Or maybe he was just disappointed it took him a week to get back between the pipes after playing his best game of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes. 

Either way Claude Julien said that the Bruins needed better goaltending on a night where they weren’t at their sharpest physically or mentally, and Khudobin clearly wasn’t up to the challenge this time around. 

“We needed some saves tonight and we didn’t get them. He’s got to be better. A lot of things here that we can be better at and take responsibility [for],” said Julien. “But at the same time, you got to move on here. To me it’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, and we would have had a chance. Now we’ve got to move forward.”

Clearly, the Bruins have no choice but to move on with a busy schedule that doesn’t let up anytime soon, but one of the lessons learned from Thursday night is that the Bruins need to get better backup goaltending from a collective crew (Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban included) that’s won just once in eight games behind Tuukka Rask this season. 

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

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Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic.